In Waterloo, Iowa, City Council member Pat Morrissey is warring against payday lenders on several fronts. He has offered local city ordinance options, met with state Democratic lawmakers, and recently traveled to the nation's capital with Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (CCI). The group last week met with Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director Richard Cordray and Federal Reserve Gov. Sarah Bloom-Raskin.
CCI's Matthew Covington says his organization has been working on the issue of payday lending at the state level since 2009, with the D.C. meeting part of the group’s ties to the National People’s Action organization. He pointed out that several cities have passed ordinances to restrict payday lending store locations, and Morrissey hopes that Waterloo could be next.
A bill has been introduced in Iowa nearly every year since 2007, when a cap on car-title lending passed, but has not yet made it to the governor, Covington says. CCI and the National People’s Action organizations are calling for the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to take national action.