Perez v. United States

402 U.S. 146, 91 S. Ct. 1357 (1971)



Title II of the Consumer Credit Protection Act is within Congress' power under the Commerce Clause to control activities affecting interstate commerce and Congress' findings are adequate to support its conclusion that loan sharks who use extortionate means to collect payments on loans are in a class largely controlled by organized crime with a substantially adverse effect on interstate commerce.


For his extortionate credit transactions whereby he used the threat of violence as a method of collection, petitioner was convicted for "loan sharking" pursuant to Title II of the Consumer Credit Protection Act (Act), 18 U.S.C.S. § 891 et seq. Petitioner sought review of his conviction, contending that the Act as construed and applied to him was an unconstitutional exercise by Congress of its powers under the Commerce Clause, U.S. Const. art. I, § 8, cl. 3.


Whether the regulation of “loan sharking” constitutes a permissible exercise by Congress of its powers under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution.




The court ruled that Congress' regulation of the credit transactions was supported by its findings. Such that, while the credit transactions, which were exorbitant, were purely intrastate; they directly affected interstate and foreign commerce, and that there was a connection between local "loan sharks" and interstate crime.

Consequently, the Act was a valid exercise of Congress' prerogative under the Commerce Clause, as the regulation of the class designated those who in engage in these kinds of credit transactions in intrastate activities, which affected interstate commerce, was a reasonable means for Congress to use to attain a reasonable end in regulating interstate commerce.

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