Last week, by a vote of 60 to 4 (with 16 not voting), the California Assembly cleared AB 539, which would change several aspects of the California Financing Law (CFL), including by setting new interest rate caps, imposing new rules governing loan duration, and prohibiting prepayment penalties. For example, while the CFL does not set a maximum interest rate on loans of $2,500 or more, AB 539 would cap the interest rate at 36% plus the federal funds rate on loans of $2,500 or more but less than $10,000. (See our prior blog post for other limitations that would be imposed by AB 539. However, the provisions regarding unconscionability were deleted from the version of the bill passed by the Assembly.)
The bill now moves to the California Senate, where an early June hearing is expected.