Companies that make high-interest-rate consumer loans in North Carolina will have more leeway to tack on additional charges.
The Republican-controlled General Assembly gave final approval to the change when it canceled a veto by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper.
The Senate voted along party lines, 30-9, Wednesday evening in favor of the veto override.
On the last day of this year’s regular session, lawmakers inserted into an unrelated bill a provision dealing with something called credit property insurance, which insures against damage or loss to property used to secure a loan. Consumer advocacy groups consider it junk insurance; the consumer loan industry defends it as worthwhile and reasonably priced.
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The controversial loan insurance had previously been limited to only household goods, like furniture and appliances. These new changes open it up to all types of personal property, which means anything from jewelry to boats to mobile homes.
Cooper said in a statement that the new law “allows predatory and high-risk insurance policies that unfairly target low-income North Carolinians.” The consumer loan industry has said it simply clarifies and modernizes state law.
So far in his first year as governor, Cooper has vetoed 11 bills. The legislature has overriden seven of his vetoes, including two that got Senate votes Wednesday: the insurance measure and a wide-ranging bill that Cooper said allowed an employee to collect two state salaries. Four more vetoes are waiting for potential House and Senate votes.