Maryland’s Latest Merchant Cash Advance Prohibition Bill Failed to Advance
Despite the rapid advancement of the newest merchant cash advance prohibition bill in the Maryland state legislature, the bill failed to jump over the final hurdle in a House Committee hearing on Thursday. Delegate Seth Howard (R), who introduced the bill, vigorously advocated for it to move forward so that it could proceed to the Floor, going so far as to say he was willing to make some concessions to at least get “the regulatory structure” of the bill into law.
“I don’t want to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory,” he maintained.
There were several amendments up for consideration, including the inclusion or removal of a 24% APR rate cap on MCA transactions. The subject of APR dominated the light Q&A that took place, but one delegate voiced concern that creating restrictions on capital providers to businesses that might not be able to obtain funding elsewhere would probably be counterproductive. And when a roll call of votes was taken to determine if the Bill should advance to the Floor, he voted no, as did nineteen of his colleagues. Only three voted yes, so the bill did not advance, ending its prospects for the 2021 legislative session. However, it could be reintroduced again in 2022.
Committee Vice-Chair Kathleen Dumais (D) said that she thought the bill “was not ready” despite Delegate Howard “having worked hard on it.” This was Howard’s second try in two years to move it forward. His first attempt, introduced on February 7, 2020, was called the Merchant Cash Advance Prohibition Bill. The more recent one dropped the “prohibition” label but used language that would have effectively prohibited them in the state of Maryland.March 19, 2021
Sean Murray is the President and Chief Editor of deBanked and the founder of the Broker Fair Conference. Connect with me on LinkedIn or follow me on twitter. You can view all future deBanked events here.