New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and his administration's top financial regulator issued letters to 35 online payday lenders warning them to stop issuing loans that violate state or local usury laws. The order came after a state Department of Financial Services investigation revealed some of the lenders were illegally offering loans with interest rates that topped 1,000 percent. State law bars rates over 16 percent for loans of $25,000 or less and caps them at 25 percent per year overall. Regulator Benjamin M. Lawsky also sent letters to 117 banks, directing them to help state officials block online lenders from tapping into checking accounts of Empire State residents. Lenders were given two weeks to provide the administration proof they have stopped the practice. (NEW YORK TIMES, TIMES-UNION [ALBANY], LEGISLATIVE GAZETTE [ALBANY])
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