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Loyola University Chicago School of Law
Loyola University Chicago Law Faculty Research Inspires
Bipartisan bill is established to protect consumers from predatory lenders
CHICAGO, November 13, 2019—Ground breaking, bipartisan federal legislation developed from research by Loyola University Chicago alumnus Paul Kantwill (BA ’83, JD ’86), a distinguished professor in residence at Loyola’s School of Law, was introduced this week in Washington, D.C. by members of the United States Senate and House of Representatives. The landmark bill, called the Veterans and Consumer Fair Credit Act, would establish the country’s first national usury law that imposes interest rate limitations on nearly all financial products and services in an effort to protect consumers from predatory lenders.
Kantwill and Christopher L. Peterson, a professor of law at the University of Utah’s S. J. Quinney School of Law, first introduced the model legislation in “American Usury Law and the Military Lending,” a paper they coauthored earlier this year that was published in the Loyola Consumer Law Review. Their research provides a historical record of the Military Lending Act, which Congress adopted in 2006 to protect active duty military service members and their families from high-cost, predatory loans. The core provision of the statute is a usury limit capping interest rates at no more than 36 percent each year.
“It is time to expand predatory lending protections to veterans and Gold Star families,” said Kantwill. “I am proud to have worked on the Veterans and Consumers Fair Credit Act, and excited to be a part of new legislation that will extend the same protection military servicemembers receive under the Department of Defense rules to all consumers.”
Kantwill joined the School of Law after a long and distinguished career in public service. Most recently he served as an assistant director with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), leading the Office of Servicemember Affairs. Prior to joining the CFPB, Kantwill served as the director of the Office of Legal Policy, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense, Personnel & Readiness. In that capacity, he served as the principal advisor to the Secretary of Defense on a wide variety of consumer protection legal and policy issues, including the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, Military Lending Act, and other financial/consumer issues affecting members of the armed forces and their family members. Kantwill also served on active duty for 25 years with the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps. During his tenure with the CFPB, Kantwill and his department led unprecedented efforts to protect servicemembers and their families in the financial marketplace.
A national usury standard has been proposed primarily in response to the rise of predatory and insidious payday lending products and practices that trap consumers in cycles of debt. This bill is the first bipartisan legislation on this issue in decades.
The legislation is co-sponsored in the House of Representatives by Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-WI) and Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (D-IL). The Senate version of the bill is co-sponsored by Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Jack Reed (D-RI), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD).
Loyola University Chicago School of Law
Loyola’s School of Law has been educating students across the country and around the world for more than 100 years. The school offers full- and part-time Juris Doctor programs, with specialized certificates available in advocacy, child and family law, health law, international law and practice, public interest law, tax law, and transactional law. For attorneys pursuing advanced legal education, the school offers Master of Laws programs in advocacy, child and family law, rule of law for development, tax law, and international law for foreign lawyers, as well as online programs in business, global competition law, and health law. In addition, the school offers a Master of Jurisprudence program in rule of law for development and online programs for non-attorney professionals in business and compliance, child and family law, health law, and global competition law. Online certificates programs in school discipline reform and privacy law are also available. To learn more about the school, visit LUC.edu/law or follow us on Twitter via @LoyolaLaw.
About Loyola University Chicago
Founded in 1870, Loyola University Chicago is one of the nation’s largest Jesuit, Catholic universities, with more than 16,600 students. Nearly 11,500 undergraduates call Loyola home. The University has four campuses: three in the greater Chicago area and one in Rome, Italy, as well as course locations in Saigon-Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Vernon Hills, Illinois (Cuneo Mansion and Gardens); and a Retreat and Ecology Campus in Woodstock, Illinois. The University features 14 schools, colleges, and institutes, including the Parkinson School of Health Sciences and Public Health, Quinlan School of Business, Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, Stritch School of Medicine, College of Arts and Sciences, School of Communication, School of Continuing and Professional Studies, School of Education, School of Law, School of Social Work, Graduate School, Institute of Pastoral Studies, Institute of Environmental Sustainability, and Arrupe College of Loyola University Chicago. Ranked a top national university by U.S. News & World Report, Loyola is also among a select group of universities recognized for community service and engagement by prestigious national organizations like the Carnegie Foundation and the Corporation for National and Community Service. To learn more about Loyola, visit LUC.edu, “like” us at Facebook.com/LoyolaChicago, or follow us on Twitter via @LoyolaChicago or @LoyolaNewsroom.