From an auto insurance overhaul, to a bill that would exacerbate the problem of predatory lending, AARP North Carolina and its advocacy volunteers have been working to defeat legislation that is harmful to older consumers.
House Bill 265 proposed changing the way the state regulates auto insurance rates. It would have permitted insurance companies to opt out of the current system and set their own rates without the Insurance Commission’s approval. AARP spoke out strongly against that bill, because when similar legislation was passed in other states, premiums increased at a much higher rate than increases in North Carolina.
“For seniors, an automobile is a lifeline to medical appointments, food, family and more. Insurance that is unaffordable is a serious threat to people who need to remain independent and connected though their ability to drive,” said AARP Associate State Director Mary Bethel.
AARP has expressed deep concerns about Senate Bill 489 that will significantly increase the interest rates, fees and size of consumer loans in North Carolina.
“When taking out a high interest loan, many people get trapped in the cycle and most of the time can never get out,” said AARP Associate State Director Helen Savage who is an expert in consumer protection. “The bill allows practices that are considered ‘predatory,’ such as putting borrowers in loans they cannot afford to pay off, repeatedly flipping those borrowers into new loans, and each time hitting borrowers with high rates and fees and pushing expensive insurance products on each transaction.”
In addition to these bills, AARP is closely monitoring tax reform proposals that place additional burdens on seniors and the middle class. Bills that reduce income and corporate taxes and replace them with taxes on services, could force limited-income seniors to see an overall increase in their taxes. AARP has been sharing these concerns with lawmakers, House and Senate leaders and the Governor.
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