What is the Military Lending Act?
The Military Lending Act (MLA) is a law designed to deter lenders from charging excessive fees and interest rates, establishing unrealistic payment schedules, and taking advantage of U.S. military servicemembers. Violations of the MLA may result in monetary compensation to servicemembers or a refund of the money paid to the lender.
What Compensation is Available Under the MLA?
Lenders who violate the MLA may be liable to a Servicemember or their dependents for:
- Actual damages, but not less than $500 for each violation;
- Consequential and punitive damages; and
- Other appropriate relief including a refund of all fees and interest paid to the lender
Who is Covered Under the MLA?:
The MLA applies to active-duty servicemembers, Reserve and National Guard on active duty, and their dependents. Active duty means being called up or ordered to serve more than 30 days
What Loans are Covered Under the MLA:?
The MLA covers most types of consumer loans including:
- Credit Cards
- Student Loans
- Payday Loans
- Vehicle Title Loans
- Tax Refund Anticipation Loans
Loans for purchasing or refinancing a home, home equity lines of credit, auto loans secured by the purchased vehicle, and personal property loans secured by the purchased property are not covered.
Am I Eligible for Compensation or a Refund Under the MLA?
If you took out a loan while on active-duty, you may be eligible for a cash award if any of the following is true:
- You were given a loan or credit card with an annual rate greater than 36%
- The lender required you to submit to mandatory arbitration or waive certain rights under State or Federal laws
- The lender required you to create an allotment where an automatic amount of money is taken from your paycheck to pay back the loan
- You were charged a penalty when you paid back part or all of the loan early
If you believe your rights have been violated under the MLA or if you need help determining your eligibility for compensation, contact the Law Offices of Edward M. Farmer or call 800-700-4174.
Do I Have to Pay You Attorneys’ Fees?
In any successful action to enforce civil liability against a creditor under the MLA, that creditor will be liable for the costs of the action and reasonable attorney fees.
Edward M. Farmer is a U.S. Army veteran and an attorney. A majority of his career has been dedicated to assisting veterans. More information regarding Edward and his law firm can be found at www.vetlawoffice.com
The material and information contained on these pages and on any pages linked from these pages are intended to provide general information only and not legal advice. You should consult with an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction before relying upon any of the information presented here.