S. § 101, defines “person” broadly to mean “an individual, corporation, business trust, estate trust, partnership or association or any other legal entity?” Enumerated exceptions to the maximum rate do not include loans by out-of-state lenders
The Department’s purpose is to protect Pennsylvania citizens “from being exploited at the hands of unscrupulous individuals seeking to circumvent the law at the expense of unsuspecting borrowers who may have no other avenue to https://installmentloansgroup.com/installment-loans-ga/ secure financial backing?” Smith v. Mitchell, 420 Pa.Super. 137, 616 A.2d 17, 20 (1992). The finance charge is interest because it is “the amount owed to a lender in return for the use of borrowed money.” Black’s Law Dictionary 829 (8th ed.2004).
The Department argues in its initial brief Section III that Cash America is violating the CDCA by lending to Pennsylvania residents without a license. Section 3.B, 7 P.S. § 6203.B, states that a person “shall be deemed to be engaged in the business contemplated by this act” where that person either “hold[s] himself out as willing or able to arrange for or negotiate” loans of $25,000 or less with interest and charges greater than 6% or “solicits prospective borrowers of such loans?” Section 11, 7 P.S. § 6211, provides that “[a] person, who is not licensed under this act, shall be presumed to be engaged in business contemplated by this act if he advertises or solicits business as principal, agent or broker for which a license is required by the provisions of this act?” Through its website Cash America holds itself out as willing to make nonmortgage loans of less than $25,000 with an interest rate higher than 6% to Pennsylvania residents; it has a page on its website directed to Pennsylvania residents. Bleicken Verification, Ex. E, Department’s Brief Appendix (A) A-324.
A makes it unlawful for any unlicensed person to engage in the business of negotiating or making specified types of loans, and it defines the persons whose conduct may fit this activity to include a “principal, employe, agent or broker[
The Department asserts that the requirement that the lender engage in business “in this Commonwealth” is analogous to language in the statute known as Pennsylvania’s Long Arm Statute, allowing courts to exercise general jurisdiction over a corporation for the “carrying on of a continuous and systematic part of its general business within this Commonwealth[,]” 42 Pa.C.S. § 5301(a)(2)(iii), and the Uniform Interstate and International Procedure Act, permitting personal jurisdiction over a person “[t]ransacting any business in this Commonwealth.” 42 Pa.C.S. § 5322(a)(1). The leading case on jurisdiction based on Internet activity was decided under the Long Arm Statute. In Zippo Mfg. Co. v. Zippo Dot Com, Inc., 952 F.Supp. 1119, 1124 (W.D.Pa.1997), the court described a “sliding scale” to determine when a defendant’s Internet business subjects it to jurisdiction. At one end: “If the defendant enters into contracts with residents of a foreign jurisdiction that involve the knowing and repeated transmission of computer files over the Internet, personal jurisdiction is proper.” Id. However, “[a] passive Web site that does little more than make information available to those who are interested in it is not grounds for the exercise [of] personal jurisdiction.” Id. Cash America has a website page targeted at Pennsylvania borrowers, knows that it is lending to Pennsylvania residents and transmits money into Pennsylvania.
Although the Department did not specifically address in its initial brief the language in Section 3.A of the CDCA deemed by Cash America to be crucial, the Department focuses on this in its reply brief Section I, B. It notes that words and phrases are to be construed according to the rules of grammar and to their common and approved usage. 1 Pa.C.S. § 1903. The Department argues that the structure of Section 3.]” The Department asserts that the statute is expanded beyond simply a principal. The fact that the phrase “either as principal, employe, agent or broker” is set off by commas indicates that it is nonrestrictive in nature, i.e., it contains non-essential information and can be removed without changing the sentence’s basic meaning. The Department cites W. Strunk, Jr. & E.B. White, The Elements of Style 2-5 (4th ed.2000), among other authorities. But see 1 Pa.C.S. § 1923(b) (giving effect to punctuation in statutes only after December 31, 1964).