Stop the Debt Trap

Time to Reign In Florida Predatory Lenders

High-Cost Predatory Rent-a-Bank Schemes in Florida

Florida APR Source: National Consumer Law Center

Florida law limits interest rates to protect its residents from predatory lending.

Unfortunately, high-cost online lenders are evading Florida law by laundering their loans through rogue, out-of-state banks, which are not subject to state rate caps. In a “rent-a-bank” scheme, a loan program is designed and run by a nonbank lender that charges and collects interest and makes the bulk of the profits.

But a bank’s name is on the paperwork, and the lender claims it is a “bank loan” exempt from state law. Predatory rent-a-bank lending hurts consumers, disabled veterans, and small business owners who can lose their homes to 121% APR loans.

These installment lenders are now using rent-a-bank schemes to evade Florida law1

1. Source:  National Consumer Law Center

The legality of rent-a-bank schemes is questionable. But in 2020, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency approved a “fake lender” rule that prevents courts from following the money to prevent usury law evasions. A second set of OCC and FDIC rules preempting state rate caps on assigned loans also help protect high-cost loans laundered through banks. Both rules have been challenged.   

To preserve Florida’s authority to stop predatory lending, we must:


Complete Streets

Complete Streets are safe for people of all ages and abilities and serve people traveling in all different ways: walking, biking, taking transit, or just enjoying the street as a public space.

Learn More

Civil Engagement

We believe consumers should be educated not only on issues but on the processes in government at all levels that affect issues. It is important that consumers know who the decision makers in their community are and how they are influenced.

Learn More

Get the Lead Out

In the wake of the tragedy in Flint, Michigan, we now know the toxic threat of lead in drinking water extends to thousands of communities across the country.

Learn More