A temporary moratorium on payday and auto title lenders in Menlo Park, Calif., was slated to expire next month but instead will be made permanent.
Charging an average annual percentage rate of 414 percent for payday loans in 2010, Police Commander Dave Bertini said the businesses represent a "crime prevention and quality of life issue" for vulnerable low-income Californians. Under the new ordinance passed by city council, payday lenders now will be listed as a public nuisance in the city's municipal code and deemed "a menace to the public health, safety and welfare of the community." Bertini also recommended publishing literature in English and Spanish to educate people who might patronize loan sharks and steer them instead toward other financial services.
There currently are no payday loan outlets in Menlo Park.