Both Sides in Payday Loan Debate Start Petitions

August 14, 2013
Springfield News-Leader (Missouri)  
payday lending news

Critics and proponents of payday lending in Missouri will see a contentious 18 months as each side attempts to put constitutional amendments on the ballot. One proposal would limit payday loan interest, allow borrowers to cancel at no cost, and let them repay a loan within two business day of signing. It also prohibits criminal prosecution of borrowers for failure to repay and makes it a criminal offense for lenders to purposely, repeatedly violate lending laws. The other, pro-industry proposal would prevent state law from capping interest rates. The Missouri secretary of state’s office reported that Whitfield Montgomery of St. Louis filed the petition to restrict payday lending. Rep. Charlie Norr (D-Springfield) appears to favor payday loan reform to protect consumers, comparing it to laws for motorcycle helmets. Randy Scherr, director of United Payday Lenders of Missouri, has defended the industry, saying that consumers are not forced to take out the loans and pointing out that payday loans are the only loans in Missouri with maximum rates, currently at 75 percent.
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