State Attorneys General Call for Improvements to MLA

Military service members are “disproportionately targeted by predatory lenders,” according to a June 24 letter from 10 state attorneys general, which encourages the Defense Department to modify regulations under the Military Lending Act. The MLA is intended to protect troops against such abusive lending practices. “High-cost loans are extremely difficult for financially-strapped service members to repay, resulting in additional loans with ever-increasing interest rates and fees,” states the letter. “The result is an increasing spiral of debt for the military borrower.” The MLA covers payday loans, vehicle title loans, and tax refund anticipation loans through strict guidelines regarding amount and duration of the loan. However, the group said the narrow categories “create large loopholes” that allow lenders to purposefully construct “abusive or predatory” transactions. “Those who have served our country deserve the strongest protections our government can provide,” they added. The letter was signed by states attorneys general of Delaware, California, Indiana, Montana, New York, Illinois, Florida, Kentucky, Nevada, and North Carolina.