Possible Vote To Permit Predatory Payday Lending Looms Again Today

According to Kerry Smith of Community Legal Services in Philadelphia, House Bill 2191 did not get a vote in the Pennsylvania House as expected Tuesday, but it is once again on the calendar for possible consideration today. Please ask your friends and family to reach out to their representative to keep the pressure on to not pass this bill.

The Editorial Board of The Patriot-News weighed in again today, urging the House not to pass HB 2191.

That’s not a helping hand; it’s a handcuff.

Experience in other states that allow this type of lending reveals that only 2 percent of borrowers are able to repay the loan with their next paycheck.

The rest get caught in a cycle of debt.

Rep. Chris Ross, R-Chester, the sponsor of the legislation to legalize these predatory lending practices in the state, argues that people in Pennsylvania are getting these loans online. His bill would put protections in place, he says.

It’s a deeply flawed argument.

The best protection is keeping this industry out of the state.

At the moment, lenders in Pennsylvania cannot charge above 24 percent interest. This includes online lenders.

Sure, there are a lot of lenders that come up in an online search, but look a little closer and it becomes evident that these lenders are not operating here.

If online lenders do make a loan to a Pennsylvanian at a high interest rate, it is easy to go after them. The law is on the borrower’s side at present.

That would all change if House Billl 2191 becomes law.

Sadly, Rep. Ross is joined by 34 co-sponsors on his bill, including local midstate representatives Sheryl Delozier, R-Lower Allen Twp., Mauree Gingrich, R-Lebanon, and Ron Marsico, R-Lower Paxton Twp.

These lawmakers need to take a hard look at the facts.

President George W. Bush signed a law in 2006 prohibiting the payday loan industry from charging military families rates higher than 36 percent.

If the military felt these businesses were harming the lives of our servicemen and women, why do we want to allow this industry to target the public in our state?...

People nationwide are realizing that payday lending is not an aid. It’s a faster route to poverty and debt...

If lawmakers want to protect Pennsylvanians, they will keep this industry out of the state.

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