22 May 2010

Lenders found charging high interest in American Samoa will be prosecuted says official

9:56 am on 22 May 2010

Complaints about high interest rates being charged by small loan agencies have prompted an investigation by the consumer protection bureau in American Samoa.

Assistant Attorney General, Kevin Kornegay, who heads the bureau, says they found some businesses were charging up to 25 percent interest on small loans, despite a statutory cap of eight percent.

Small loans are classed as amounts of up to eight thousand US dollars with a repayment terms ranging from two weeks to one year.

Mr Kornegay says the bureau has been training the businesses and if they continue to charge high interest rates they'll be prosecuted.

"We urge the public if they believe they are being charged too much on their loan, they are being charged more than 8 percent with a small loan, then they should come in and speak with our office and we will investigate."