College Station Weighs Strategy for 'Predatory' Payday Lenders

June 26, 2013
The Eagle (TX) 
payday lending news

The Texas Legislature failed to limit payday lending this session, and local councils are not sure whether to take action themselves. College Station Mayor Nancy Berry says her city plans to wait until the 2015 legislative cycle for help. In Bryan, however, Councilwoman Ann Horton suggested local restrictions on the industry. Several city officials throughout Texas have asked the Legislature to implement some uniform statewide controls. The United Way of The Brazos Valley has led a push for reform, saying that 13 local lenders have been detrimental to moderate- and low-income families. Among nearly 14,000 local payday loan transactions between January and June 2012, borrowers paid $1.3 million in fees and 101 vehicles were repossessed. Local payday and title loan lenders also nearly doubled in number from 2004 to 2012. Unlike many other states, Texas does not control the cap for payday loan rates. The cities of Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio passed ordinances that limit loan renewals within their city limits; but all three have resulted in lawsuits. Bryan and College Station's city councils passed resolutions that called for general restrictions on lenders in the area, without specifying changes. Texas Rep. Mike Villarreal (D-San Antonio) and Sen. John Carona (R-Dallas) filed identical bills that would limit the size of a loan and limit the number of times a loan can be refinanced, but the proposals died in committee.
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