Topical issues concerning usurious interest

This note concerns a number of controversial, topical issues regarding interest termed as ‘usurious’, referred to in Italian Law 108/1996 and in article 644 of the Italian Criminal Code, and in particular those pertaining to default interest, to the so-called ‘supervening usury’ and to the ‘floor’ interest rate.

On this matter, the judgment of the Civil Supreme Court, Division I, no. 350 of 9 January 2013, recently ruled that ‘in order to ascertain whether or not the interest rates provided in a mortgage contract are usurious, the conventionally established default interest must also be included in the calculation’.

This judgment confirmed an approach that has been previously asserted in case law (see, for example, Civil Supreme Court, Division I, no. 5286/2000 or Civil Supreme Court, Division II, no. 5324/2003)…

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