In Medieval times, being in debt was actually illegal throughout many areas of the world, and usury carried stiff penalties. Today, debt forms the backbone of our very economy. However, you can still experience legal issues if you lend money in an unlawful manner. Some argue that the borrower should accept the responsibility of unpaid loans, especially if they entered into a consensual agreement with another party. That being said, it’s important to understand how Mississippi handles these types of situations.

If you are facing criminal charges due to your business operations as a lender, it’s probably a good idea to get in touch with a qualified, experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. These legal professionals can guide you towards a positive outcome. With their help, you can avoid criminal charges and protect your business from unnecessary issues.

What is the Legal Definition of Loan Sharking?

Also known as “predatory lenders,” loan sharks are lenders that offer emergency loans to people who desperately need them at interest rates that are completely unfeasible. The borrowers have no choice but to accept the loan, and they are inevitably bankrupted by the extremely high interest rates, which can sometimes reach up to 400%. These are short-term loans that also carry a plethora of additional fees.

What are Mississippi’s Laws Against Loan Sharking?

Mississippi has a number of laws that prevent lenders from engaging in loan sharking. Due to the Mississippi Check Cashiers Act, individuals can only borrow up to $410 per day from payday lenders. For loans up to $250, payday lenders can only charge a maximum of $20. If the loan exceeds $250, the lender can charge $21.95 per $100.

Mississippi law also requires customers to pay their existing loans before taking out additional payday loans. Various lawmakers in local Mississippi municipalities have pushed for moratoriums on the growth of payday lenders due to the perceived negative effects on the community. These efforts have been met with stiff opposition from the payday loan industry.

In addition, Mississippi law states that the legal rate of interest on all notes, accounts, and contracts can be as high as 8% per annum. However, in certain situations, this interest rate can rise to as much as 15%. One of the biggest complaints people have about these laws is that they can be easily circumvented due to the number of exceptions written into the legislation. For example, Caps on closed-end credit sales are 24%. In 2016, the legislature added an alternative finance charge cap of 59% for loans over $4,000 issued by small loan companies.

Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today

If you’ve been searching the Mississippi area for a qualified, experienced criminal defense attorney, look no further than Ballard Law, PLLC. We have extensive experience with a wide range of criminal cases, and we can help you protect your business and your freedom in the most efficient way imaginable. Book your consultation today, and we can begin working on a defense strategy together.


Ballard Law, PLLC

108 S President St.
Jackson, MS 39201
(769) 572-5111

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