Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, has sponsored a bill that could increase what borrowers have to repay when they take out short-term or “payday” loans.
Senate Bill 438, filed Wednesday, affects some of the terms of loans up to $25,000. Florida law al- lows lenders to charge in- terest rates of 30 percent per year on the first $2,000 of those loans, and lower rates as the amounts increase.
The bill leaves the interest rate unchanged, but raises the ceiling to the first $3,000. Other ceilings also are raised, so loans of $3,001 to $4,000 would see a 28 percent interest rate and any loans over $4,000 and up to $25,000 would have an 18 percent interest rate.
The bill also increases some delinquency and bad-check fees.
Bennett said Thursday he had not yet read the bill and could not comment.
A staff member prepared it, possibly in consultation with the finance industry, and filed it without giving him a copy, he said.
He planned to review the bill’s terms.
“I’m not interested in many things that raise interest rates,” he said.
Bennett has received campaign contributions from at least two payday lenders, Advance America and Cash America.
They donated a combined $1,000 of the nearly $326,000 he raised for his 2008 campaign.