QCOSTARICA – A new bill seeks to penalize up to 10 years in prison for loan sharking (prestamos gota a gota in Spanish) and 12 years if the person is part of a criminal structure.
The bill is being promoted by Gilbert Jiménez, legislator for the Partido Liberacion Nacional (PLN), the party with the largest representation in the Legislative Assembly, 19 of the 57 legislative seats.
Jiménez said that this bill seeks to establish a legal framework that protects people from this type of abuse.
Read more: Costa Rica Usury Rate Defined
A loan shark is a person who – or an entity that – loans money at extremely high interest rates and often uses threats of violence to collect debts. The interest rates are generally well above an established legal rate, and often loan sharks are members of organized crime groups.