Press Releases

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) reintroduced the Small Business Lending Fairness Act, legislation that seeks  to protect small businesses by closing a loophole used by predatory lenders that prevents their ability to be heard in a court of law before a credit default.
 
Rubio and Brown previously introduced the legislation in 2018 and 2019
 
“With this bill, we are taking another step toward protecting America’s small businesses—the foundation of our economy—by preserving the right of a business to be heard in a court of law before a potential credit default,” Rubio said. “I remain committed to protecting our small businesses from predatory, out-of-state lenders, and I urge my colleagues to join me in this effort.”
 
“When we let financial predators harm hardworking Americans through scams like confessions of judgment, we undermine the dignity of work,” Brown said. “This bipartisan bill would protect consumers and small business owners from predatory lenders that use legal tricks to strip away their hard earned money.”
 
The Small Business Lending Fairness Act:
  • Codifies the FTC’s 1985 ban on confessions of judgment in law in consumer loan contracts, and
  • Expands the ban to provide these protections to business borrowers as well.
 
Background: 
Although many states have banned this practice for small business loans as well as individuals, borrowers nationwide are still exposed due to loopholes in state laws that have allowed predatory lenders to devastate small businesses across the country. Although confessions of judgement are illegal in Florida, small business owners are being targeted by out-of-state lenders who operate within the state. The Small Business Lending Fairness Act provides small businesses with the same federal protections that consumers already have nationally.
 
In 2018, Bloomberg published an in-depth investigative report on this shady small business lending tactic which has allowed creditors to steal the savings of tens of thousands of borrowers with no notice or opportunity for defense.