An unlawful contract upon the loan of money, to receive the same again with exorbitant increase. Lassman v Jacobson, 125 Minn 218, 146 NW 350. The exaction, or an agreement for the exaction, of a greater sum for the loan, use, or forbearance of money, goods, or things in action than interest at the highest rate allowed by law. 55 Am J1st Usury § 2. It is the agreement, not necessarily its performance, which renders a debt usurious, the intent actually to get excessive interest being the controlling element, considering the elements of the agreement as and when made. Seebold v Eustermarm, 216 Minn 566, 13 NW2d 739, 152 ALR 586. Any premium, profit, bonus, or charge exacted or required by the lendor in excess of money actually loaned, with interest at the legal rate, is usurious. Hall v Mortgage Secur. Corp. 119 W Va 140, 192SE 145, 111 ALR 118. To be a usurious contract, there must be a loan or forbearance of money, or its equivalent, and an unlawful intent and understanding that the loan be paid with an exaction, for the use of the loan, of something in excess of what is permitted by law. State v Miller, 177 Kan 324, 279 P2d 223, 52 ALR2d 691. The three essential elements of usury are (1) a loan or forbearance of money, (2) an agreement for a return of the money in all events; and (3) an agreement to pay more than the legal rate of interest for its use. Seebold v Eustermann, 216 Minn 566, 13 NW2d 739, 152 ALR 586. The taking of exorbitant, that is, interest exceeding forty per cent, was a misdemeanor at common law in England before the enactment of prohibitory statutes; and as late as 1814, it was thought that an indictment for usury might lie at common law, but it is now generally considered that usury is not an offense unless made so by statute. 55 Am J1st Usury § 172. See lawful interest; legal interest; legal rate of interest.

Ballentine's law dictionary. . 1998.

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  • usury — c.1300, from M.L. usuria, from L. usura usury, interest, from usus, from stem of uti (see USE (Cf. use)). Originally the practice of lending money at interest, later, at excessive rates of interest …   Etymology dictionary

  • usury — Excessive or illegal interest rates. (Dictionary of Canadian Bankruptcy Terms) United Glossary of Bankruptcy Terms 2012 …   Glossary of Bankruptcy

  • usury — ► NOUN ▪ the practice of lending money at unreasonably high rates of interest. ORIGIN Latin usura, from usus a use …   English terms dictionary

  • usury — [yo͞o′zhə rē] n. pl. usuries [ME usurie < ML usuria < L usura < usus: see USE] 1. the act or practice of lending money at interest, now specif., at a rate of interest that is excessive or unlawfully high 2. interest at such a high rate …   English World dictionary

  • USURY — Biblical Law SOURCES If thou lend money to any of My people, even to the poor with thee, thou shalt not be to him as a creditor (nosheh), neither shall ye lay upon him interest (Ex. 22:24). And if thy brother be waxen poor and his means fail with …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

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