The bill that would make it illegal to use payday loans to pay for dogs and cats

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A Montgomery County Republican wants to make it illegal to take out payday loans to pay for a dog or cat.

The bill aims to alter Title 12 of the state Commerce and Trade statutes to prohibit payday loans for the funding of a dog or cat. This is after one pet owner in her district had encountered a hard time after purchasing a financed pet. Need more budget for your pets? Visit Oak Park Financial for more details.

Protecting borrowers

In her legislative memorandum, the R-Montgomery rep claimed that:

“Pet stores and online sellers frequently push financing on those who cannot afford a puppy outright (many sell for thousands of dollars), leading to financial hardship for borrowers who have unknowingly ended up with extremely high interest rates and hidden fees.”

“One Monroeville pet business customer told the Better Business Bureau that she signed up for 151 percent interest financing without realizing it and will end up paying $6,055.40 for a $1,888.31 puppy.”

Huge blow to puppy mills

The Holmes Law (HB 572) was signed into law in Illinois in September, and it went into force on January 1st. Officials with the Humane Society say the legislation is a blow to puppy mills, which frequently sell animals to those who can’t purchase them cash and then offer loans with exorbitant interest rates and hidden costs. Customers of a pet store in Illinois complained to state politicians about interest rates as high as 188 percent.

“This isn’t only in payday loan establishments; they’ve been getting away with predatory lending interest rates of 30 to 150 percent and higher,” said Illinois State Senator, the bill’s author. “Most pet retailers have problems with animals originating from untrustworthy breeders and puppy factories – some in bad condition – so these customers might end up thousands in debt and heartbroken.”

Who does this legislation affect?

This issue isn’t limited to one Monroeville business. She said the state has at least 20 pet stores and numerous internet brokers who transport puppies to Pennsylvania buyers using third-party financing. Pennycuick’s legislation does not affect puppy-selling pet businesses or internet puppy brokers selling puppies; it only affects those who give loans to pay for them. Those buying pricey dogs or cats would be able to use credit cards to pay for them.

“For example, Easy Pay Finance, which has nearly 400 Better Business Bureau complaints and a warning from ScamFinance.com that the company fails to disclose noticeable Terms and Conditions, has “horrific customer service,” and “outrageously high loan rates” (between 129 and 200 percent on average),” wrote the R-Montgomery rep.

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