Gov. Pat Quinn has signed a new law he says will protect consumers from payday lenders.
Quinn on Monday signed the law, which requires lenders to be licensed by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation or be charged with a felony. Right now the state agency has licensed 522 payday lenders.
The new law also protects consumers who are trapped in high-interest loans from having to pay back the debts. The law allows such loans to be declared null and void. Quinn says the new law protects consumers "from unscrupulous, unlicensed lenders."
The measure was sponsored by state Sen. William Haine of Alton and state Rep. Greg Harris of Chicago, both Democrats. It takes effect Jan. 1.