Kiritsis & Associates


What is usury?

Jul 16, 2021

Kiritsis Law Group 212 922 0005

By: John Kiritsis, Esq., CPA, MBA, MS, JD, LL.M

Generally usury refers to the illegal practice of charging an impermissibly high rate of interest. Allegations of usury may in certain situations lead a court to  invalidate a loan contract. Also, it is possible that a  party commits usury unintentionally (i.e. poorly drafted loan contract that does not provide cap on adjustable loan interest rates). Laws regarding usury are usually a matter of state law. Constitutional issues have led the federal government to avoid usury regulations, and many legal commentators have viewed it is as one of the motivations behind the federal RICO laws. There are various of some legal and some illegal and others of dubious legality ways to avoid being subjected to usury type of laws -- certain techniques may include -- formation of separate corporate entity charging service and application fees which permit ownership interest by the lender -- annual reporting fees -- appointment of a paid director who is controlled by the lender -- service and/or supply agreement between the lender and borrower, structuring the arrangement in a way that a foreign jurisdictions set of laws may apply, which are very laxed with enforcing usury type of laws. 


Law Offices of Kiritsis & Associates 

Phone # 212 922 0005

Manhattan Office (Main Office):

633 Third Avenue

New York, NY 10017

Suite 1306

Brooklyn Office (By Appointment Only):

1023 74th Street

Brooklyn, NY 11228

1st Floor

New Jersey Office:

7309 Ventnor Avenue

Ventnor, NJ 08406

2nd Floor



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