What is a criminal rate of interest under section 347 of the Anti-USury Act?

British Columbia, Canada


The following excerpt is from Consolidated Financial v. Forde and Gentile, 2005 BCPC 209 (CanLII):

A criminal rate of interest is interest which exceeds 60%. The definition of "interest" in s. 347 is very broad. It appears to encompass any charge or expense for the advancing of credit. It includes many types of fixed payments which would not be considered interest proper at common law or under general accounting principles. Its purpose is "to prevent creditors from avoiding the statute simply by manipulating the form of payment exacted from debtors, a practice which historically undermined the effectiveness of anti-usury laws": Garland v. Consumer’s Gas 1998 CanLII 766 (SCC), [1998] 3 S.C.R. 112.

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