2010 Georgia Code
§ 7-3-14 - Maximum loan amount, period, and charges

O.C.G.A. 7-3-14 (2010)
7-3-14. Maximum loan amount, period, and charges

Every licensee under this chapter may loan any sum of money not exceeding $3,000.00 for a period of 36 months and 15 days or less and may charge, contract for, collect, and receive interest and fees and may require the fulfillment of conditions on such loans as provided in this Code section:

(1) Interest. A licensee may charge, contract for, receive, and collect interest at a rate not to exceed 10 percent per annum of the face amount of the contract, whether repayable in one single payment or repayable in monthly or other periodic installments. On loan contracts repayable in 18 months or less, the interest may be discounted in advance; and, on contracts repayable over a greater period, the interest shall be added to the principal amount of the loan. On all contracts, interest or discount shall be computed proportionately on equal calendar months;

(2) Loan fee. In addition thereto, a licensee may charge, contract for, receive, or collect at the time the loan is made a fee in an amount not greater than 8 percent of the first $600.00 of the face amount of the contract plus 4 percent of the excess; provided, however, that such fee shall not be charged or collected on that part of a loan which is used to pay or apply on a prior loan or installment of a prior loan from the same licensee to the same borrower made within the immediately preceding six-month period; provided, however, if the loan balance is $300.00 or less, the said period shall be two months, not six months; provided, further, that nothing contained in this paragraph and paragraph (1) of this Code section shall be construed to permit charges, interest, or fees of any nature whatsoever in the aggregate in excess of the charges, interest, and fees which would constitute a violation of Code Section 7-4-18 and this chapter shall in no way affect Code Section 7-4-18. If a borrower prepays his or her entire loan to a licensee and within the following 15 days makes a new loan with that licensee and if this is done within the six-month period or the two-month period above described, as may be applicable, the fee may be charged only on the excess by which the face amount of the new contract exceeds the amount which the borrower repaid to that licensee within the said 15 day period;

(3) Insurance premiums. A licensee may charge and collect from the borrower premiums actually paid or to be paid for insurance obtained for the borrower. A licensee may accept as security on any loan or advance made under this chapter any one or any combination of the following:

(A) Insurance on tangible property against substantial risks or loss;

(B) Reasonable insurance on the life and health of the principal party; or

(C) Reasonable insurance against accident of the principal party;

provided, however, that any such insurance shall be reasonably related to the type and value of the property insured and to the amount and term of the loan and shall be obtained from an insurance company authorized to conduct such business in the State of Georgia and at rates lawfully filed by such company with the Commissioner of Insurance and through a regular insurance agent licensed by the Commissioner of Insurance; provided, further, the amount of life, health, or accident insurance required as security for loans made under this chapter shall not exceed the amount of the loan, including charges, to be secured; and the premiums on such insurance required of the principal party obligated shall be limited to premiums reasonably based upon reliable actuarial experience and sound insurance practice; and the Commissioner is authorized and directed to promulgate rules and regulations to effectuate this provision in accordance with the spirit and intent thereof. It shall be the duty of the Commissioner from time to time under the foregoing direction, after public hearing in the manner provided in subsection (b) of Code Section 7-3-7, to determine and promulgate the rates and maximum premiums permissible to be charged for life, health, and accident insurance required as security for a loan made under this chapter and to make regulations incident thereto necessary to effectuate the same; such premiums, when thus established and as changed from time to time in the manner aforesaid, shall be the maximum effective and permissible charges under this paragraph. Premiums paid or to be paid pursuant to the authority of this paragraph shall not constitute interest. The insurance company in turn may pay to the party writing the insurance policy sold in connection with the loan a fee or commission in an amount which is reasonable in relationship to the transaction and in no event in excess of the amount of fee or commission customarily paid within the industry where comparable insurance is sold in a transaction not involving credit, as determined by the Commissioner;

(4) Late charge. A licensee may charge and collect from the borrower a late or delinquent charge of $10.00 or an amount equal to 5 cent(s) for each $1.00 of any installment which is not paid within five days from the date such payment is due, whichever is greater, provided that this late or delinquent charge shall not be collected more than once for the same default; and

(5) Maintenance charge. In addition thereto, a licensee may contract for, charge, receive, and collect a maintenance charge of $3.00 for each month in the term of the loan contract on each loan made, whether repayable in one single payment or repayable in weekly, monthly, or other periodic installments. Refunds of unearned maintenance charges shall be made in accordance with the method prescribed in Code Section 7-3-17, and such maintenance charges will be subject to paragraph (4) of this Code section. Nothing contained in Code Section 7-4-18, as now or hereafter amended, shall be construed to apply to this paragraph; and loans made in conformity with this paragraph shall in no way constitute a violation of Code Section 7-4-18, as now or hereafter amended.

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