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Resolution RS2020-211

A Resolution requesting the members of the Tennessee General Assembly to support legislation amending Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 45, Chapter 15, the Tennessee Title Pledge Act.

WHEREAS, a report released by the Tennessee Department of Financial Institutions revealed that Tennessee’s title lending industry has taken thousands of borrowers’ cars after charging borrowers sky-high rates; and

WHEREAS, Tennessee has approximately 1200 title loan locations across 89 of Tennessee’s 95 counties per Joda Thongnopnua, the author of “Fighting Predatory Lending in Tennessee: A simple strategy for cities and counties” (January 2018); and

WHEREAS, Tennessee has the most title pledge lending locations in the United States and Shelby County leads the state with 232 brick-and-mortar lending locations, with Davidson County accounting for the second highest in the state with 109 locations; and

WHEREAS, Typically, traditional banks are restricted in the amount of interest rate they can impose on borrowers, with limits of 10 or 11 % for consumer loans but title pledge lenders are allowed by Tennessee law to charge annual percentage rates (APRs) up to 300%; and

WHEREAS, People without a four-year college degree, renters, African-Americans, and those earning less than $40,000 annually are the most likely to have borrowed money from a title pledge lending institution, and these types of loans carrying some of the highest interest rates in the financial industry; and

WHEREAS, Advocacy groups combating predatory lending have offered a three-prong strategy for municipalities to implement in order to help their citizens have lending options that encourage upward mobility and break the cycle of poverty:

1) Warn: Leverage laws allowing municipalities to regulate signage and require predatory lenders to post plainspoken warnings on all exterior signage (e.g., billboards…) about the dangers and risks associated with their services;

2) Permit: Require an additional local permit to operate a predatory lending establishment in [county and] city boundaries;

3) Lend: Create an alternatively, community-based, and nonprofit lending institution under the same legal structure utilized by predatory lenders, featuring affordable rates, transparent fees, and hones underwriting practices.

WHEREAS, the Metropolitan Council recognizes that title pledge lending institutions are primarily regulated by federal laws and financial regulations, however, the state of Tennessee can lower the APR that these lenders are allowed to charge to its citizens.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT OF NASHVILLE AND DAVIDSON COUNTY:

Section 1. That the Metropolitan County Council requests the Davidson County delegation to the Tennessee General Assembly enact legislation amending Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 45, Chapter 15, in order to lower the current rates of up to two percent per month in interest and renewal charges that title pledge lenders are entitled to charge Tennessee consumers.

Section 2. That the Metropolitan Clerk is directed to send a copy of this Resolution to Governor Bill Lee and to each member of the Davidson County Delegation to the Tennessee General Assembly.

Section 3. This Resolution shall take effect from and after its adoption, the welfare of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.

Sponsor(s)

Sandra Sepulveda, Zachary Young, Ginny Welsch, Russ Bradford, Brandon Taylor, Sean Parker, Jeff Syracuse, Delishia Porterfield, John Rutherford, Nancy VanReece, Emily Benedict, Zulfat Suara, Kyonzté Toombs, Angie Henderson

Legislative History

Referred toRules, Confirmations, and Public Elections Committee

IntroducedFebruary 18, 2020

AdoptedFebruary 18, 2020

ApprovedFebruary 19, 2020

ByMayor Cooper's signature

Requests for ADA accommodation should be directed to the Metropolitan Clerk at 615-862-6770.

Last Modified: 02/20/2020 2:08 PM