Advocates Praise Governor Pritzker for Protecting Consumer Financial Security, Call for Further Action

Media Contacts
Abe Scarr

State Director, Illinois PIRG; Energy and Utilities Program Director, PIRG

Illinois PIRG Education Fund

Consumer advocates praised Governor Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation for timely actions, and called for further action to protect the financial security of Illinois residents as Illinois residents faced with lost jobs and decreased incomes grapple with first-of-the-month rent, mortgage, utility, car and other loan payments.  

Today, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) released guidance for its regulated financial entities including state banks, credit unions, installment lenders, payday lenders, title loan lenders, sales finance lenders (including auto loans), currency exchanges, student loan servicers, mortgage servicers, and collection agencies concerning their lending, servicing, and collection.

 “Today’s guidance to state financial institutions is an important step” said Brent Adams, Senior Vice President of Policy & Communication at Woodstock Institute. “We hope the Governor will take additional steps to protect consumers from predatory lenders by making clear to the industry that APRs over 36%, 100%, and higher will not be tolerated during this time of crisis.”

The state’s guidance to banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions  is one of several noteworthy actions by Governor Pritzker’s administration to assist consumers during a time of increased uncertainty. On Saturday, Governor Pritzker released Executive Order 2020-16, placing a moratorium on car repossessions and starter interrupters, or “kill switches,” through which a lender can remotely stop a borrower from being able to start a car or truck after falling behind on payments.

“We thank Governor Pritzker and his Administration for the initial steps they have taken to protect Illinoisans’ cars and financial well being, and we urge them to continue to do everything in their power to support Illinois workers and families, who are struggling to pay their bills during this immense crisis,” said Jody Chong, Associate Director of Research & Policy for Heartland Alliance.

Consumer advocates have encouraged the Governor’s office and IDFPR to take these actions, and more, including placing temporary interest rate caps on payday and other high interest loans, suspending wage garnishments, assignments and bank freezes, and providing consumers with tools to lessen the impact of negative credit reporting during the pandemic. 

“Thank you Governor Pritzker for taking action to protect the public health and financial security of Illinois residents,” said Abe Scarr, Illinois PIRG Director. “We encourage the Governor to build upon these important actions by following the lead of New York, California, and other states who have demonstrated the many ways states can lessen the negative financial impact of the pandemic on Illinois residents.