“Live” checks: Bad deal that preys on elderly
AUGUSTA - A measure that prohibits financial institutions and creditors from mailing unsolicited loan offers known as “live” checks passed in the Maine Senate today.
“Now when someone receives one of these ‘live’ checks they can call the Attorney General and they will have an avenue to protect themselves,” said Democratic Senator Linda Valentino of Saco, the sponsor of the measure. “We cannot allow companies to prey on the elderly or other folks who may be down on hard times.”
The bill enacts a new provision in the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act prohibiting the use of a solicitation designed to resemble a “negotiable instrument,” including a check, unless the document clearly states on its face that it is not negotiable. Uncharted loan companies would be prohibited from mailing the solicitations, which have the appearance of an actual check but when cashed by the recipient constitute acceptance of a loan.
“After receiving multiple ‘live’ checks in the mail, I was inspired to submit this legislation,” added Sen. Valentino. “While I was lucky enough to determine the false nature of these checks, it can be incredibly difficult to know what to do. It’s no wonder why so many others are misled into applying for loans and getting locked into a never-ending cycle of debt.”
The measure protects both consumers and business to business solicitation.
The measure received support from the Superintendent of the Maine Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection Will Lund and Assistant Attorney General Linda Conti.
The bill, LD 455, “An Act To Prohibit Deceptive Practices Regarding Negotiable Investments,” now goes to the governor for his signature to become law.
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