Retired New Mexico senator Steve Fischmann is tackling payday lending in Las Cruces, where borrowers can choose from more than 40 different payday or auto title loan locations.
On May 5, he joined with other advocates to argue the case for capping interest on the product at 36 percent. "We've been working at the state level for legislation," he said, "and the state legislature in New Mexico, as well as in Texas, refuses to act." The one-time lawmaker noted that a borrower could ultimately end up repaying $1,000 for an advance of $325, which he called "outrageous."
Along with a representative from Catholic Charities and a consumer loan expert, he told the Las Cruces City Council that the high-cost loans trap borrowers in a cycle of poverty and steer local dollars out of New Mexico.