New York financial officials have sent letters to the state's debt collectors warning them against trying to collect on illegal payday loans.
Those short-term loans are typically advances on a paycheck with high interest rates. State officials say they often violate a New York law that limits interest rates to 25 percent.
Payday loan rates can often be as high as 400 percent, with studies showing them as a "high-cost debt trap" for people with low incomes.
Department of Financial Services Superintendent Benjamin Lawsky says his agency will aggressively enforce the law, including lending over the internet and by mail.
He says loans with an interest rate above the statutory maximums are legally void and unenforceable.