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Predatory Lending

Predatory Lending Lawyers in Orlando, FL

Foreclosure defense attorney in Orlando fights for consumers

Predatory lending is an umbrella term for unfair and deceptive practices that result in abusive loan terms for borrowers. These can take the form of high fees and interest rates, as well as penalties and defaults, that unjustly enrich the lender to the detriment of the borrower. Florida has enacted strong laws to protect consumers from these practices, but asserting your rights under these laws requires skill and perseverance. For more than 35 years, H. Clay Parker, Esq. has worked to protect consumers from unfair lending practices. Our firm has earned a reputation for pursuing justice for Floridians victimized by unscrupulous lenders. If you are in this situation, we can help you escape unfair obligations and recover compensation for losses caused by the abusive practices.

Warning signs of predatory lending

Consumers should always be wary of applying for a loan from a lender who offers seemingly attractive terms not readily available elsewhere. Red flags of possible predatory lending include the following:

  • Loan terms that sound too good to be true
  • No discussion of interest rates
  • Higher (balloon) payments that kick in a couple of years later
  • Little or no concern about your creditworthiness
  • Too easy an application process

When a lender seems more concerned about finalizing the loan than determining whether you can repay it, you should be suspicious.

Examples of predatory lending in Florida

Predatory lenders target vulnerable populations, especially the poor and elderly. Because Florida has a vast population of retirees, unfair practices can often target seniors. But you don’t have to be retired to get ripped off. Some of the unfair tactics borrowers have encountered include: 

  • High interest rates — Florida usury laws place limits on loan interest rates (18 percent for amounts up to $500,000 and 25 percent for higher amounts). However, lenders may try to skirt the law by disguising a loan as another type of transaction, such as a lease. 
  • Balloon payments — A balloon payment is a final amount due on a loan, but much larger than the regular monthly payments. It can be impossible to manage and cause a borrower to default.
  • Negative amortization — This occurs when the lender charges less in monthly payments than the amount necessary to cover interest on the loan. It causes the amount owed to increase over time, even when the borrower pays faithfully.
  • Asset-based lending — The practice of lending money backed by the borrower’s general assets is used by businesses, but consumers should never agree to pledge other property as security for a loan.
  • Loan flipping — This is a type of mortgage fraud whereby a predatory lender convinces a mortgage holder to refinance, then hits the borrower with high fees and closing costs.
  • Prepayment penalties — This practice charges a borrower a substantial penalty for paying off all or part of the loan principal before the date on which the payment is due. 
  • Unnecessary insurance — Predatory lenders may require borrowers to buy unnecessary and/or useless insurance as a condition of loan approval.
  • Loan packing — Lenders may place oppressive terms such as unwanted services, add-ons, fees and penalties in loan agreements, usually hidden in dense paperwork or complex language that borrowers don’t have time to read or can’t understand. 
  • Foreclosure rescue schemes — The loan provider demands high upfront payments to save a home from foreclosure but does not do so. Homeowners are always better off consulting a reputable foreclosure defense attorney with a track record of success.

If you have been the victim of any of these schemes, our firm can help you pursue justice. Penalties for predatory lending in Florida are substantial, and we are determined to see our clients fully compensated.

Contact a trustworthy lawyer for predatory lending claims in Florida

Clay Parker, Esq. litigates predatory lending cases for victims of unfair consumer practices in Central Florida. Please call 407-216-2504 or contact us online to schedule an appointment at our Orlando office. 

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Our Office
  • Orlando Office
    501 N. Magnolia Ave
    Orlando, Florida 32801
    Phone: 407-894-8440
    Fax: 407-894-0400
An Attorney’s Job
"My job is to maximize the economic outcome in a legal setting, while advancing your legal rights and cause." Attorney H. Clay Parker IV