Cities Put Restrictions on Payday Loan Shops

July 31, 2013
Des Moines Register  
payday lending news

Despite calls from cities and consumer groups, the Iowa Legislature has not yet capped interest rates on payday loans or attempted to prohibit the businesses from operating. Cities in Iowa are resorting to local restrictions on the industry, with Windsor Heights in July becoming the seventh city in the state to pass an ordinance restricting where the lenders can set up shop. Des Moines currently has 25 licensed vendors, compared to 31 when the city adopted its ordinance in 2010, says Matthew Covington, an organizer with Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement. Industry representatives say Americans should be able to take out fast, easy loans; but consumer advocates contend that payday lenders exploit needy borrowers who would do better with alternatives bearing lower rates. D.J. Morris, a consumer who took out a payday loan to help his family of five, says the first loan was easy. "It’s just the ones that come after that that make you get into trouble," he says. Many borrowers repay a loan only to find themselves still in need of cash, so they take out another loan. Half of all payday borrowers in Iowa take out 12 or more loans annually, and about 8 percent borrow more than 25 times in a year.
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