There are several reasons the legality of a contract may be in question. The first is if the contract violates a statute. Contracts that are contrary to statute are considered void.
Usury contracts contrary to statute are formed when a contract exists that charges interest rates above the rate that State or local laws permit. Nearly every State has distinct usury laws. In some states a usurious loan is automatically void. In states that declare usury contracts void ab initio, the lender forfeits the principle as well as the interest if the courts become involved.
Other states allow a usurer to recover both the principle loaned, as well as the interest up until the amount that would have been permitted under the law. In still other states, an usury contract only permits an individual to recoup the initial principle. Usurious rates depend upon the particular type of loan. If an usurious loan is not challenged, the person who has taken out the loan is usually obliged to repay the full amount.
Gambling contracts are void when they occur outside of the legally-approved methods of gambling. As with what level of interest constitutes usury in a particular State, each State has different ga