Amendments Will Provide Better Consumer Protection on Payday Loans
The province will provide better protection and more information to people who borrow from payday lenders.
Proposed changes to the Consumer Protection Act were introduced today, Nov. 25, by Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations Minister John MacDonell. The changes were recently recommended by the Utility and Review Board to regulate online payday lenders.
"These changes will help make life better for Nova Scotians by ensuring that the information and protections are in place for Nova Scotians who access payday loans," said Mr. MacDonell. "Well informed consumers are wise consumers. Knowledge is the best protection."
The province now licenses payday lenders that operate outlets in Nova Scotia, but not online payday lenders. Proposed changes will require online payday lenders to be licensed and to maintain a physical location in the province. This will help provide better information to prospective borrowers.
Online payday lenders that are not licensed will not be able to collect fees, charges, or interest on loans. People should always check to be sure they are borrowing from a licensed payday lender. Visit www.smartconsumers.ca for a list of licensed payday lenders.
Another proposed change includes payday lenders already operating in Nova Scotia. They will have to make cash available to people who want it.
"We support the new legislation which regulates the practices of online lenders," said Linda Wilke, certified counsellor, Credit Counselling Services of Atlantic Canada. "This regulatory legislation ensures better protection for Nova Scotian borrowers."
The department has already implemented two other recommendations by the Utility and Review Board. Payday lenders are now required to include the cost of borrowing in advertising materials, and to report the number of repeat loans to Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations.
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The province is making online payday lending safer for people.
Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations Minister John MacDonell introduced amendments to the Consumer Protection Act today (November 25th).
Mr. MacDonell says that the changes will help ensure that borrowers are well informed before they take out a payday loan and will help improve consumer protection.