Momentum is building on Capitol Hill to outlaw unsolicited loan checks.
Sen. Richard Bryan, D-Nev., introduced a bill Thursday that would make it a violation of the Truth-in-Lending Act to enclose a loan check with a solicitation to open a credit account. Sen. Lauch Faircloth, chairman of Senate Banking's financial institutions and regulatory relief subcommittee, said he may co-sponsor the bill and plans to hold a hearing on the issue next month.
The North Carolina Republican complained that consumers frequently cash the checks without understanding the liabilities.
"At a time when we are seeing a record number of bankruptcies, I think it is careless for lending institutions to work so creatively to put people into debt," he said Thursday in a written statement.
The legislation is identical to a measure introduced in June by Reps. Henry Gonzalez, D-Tex., and Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y. Under their measure, consumers would not be liable for any debt created by the checks unless the lender can prove customers were aware of the terms and that they, not an imposter, got the cash.