payday loans

M.L. Schultze

Ohio’s overhaul of its payday lending laws will be fully implemented in April. At a conference in Washington Monday, it was applauded as a national model that ensures the short-term loans will continue to be offered without gouging consumers.  

During the discussion organized by the Pew Charitable Trusts, advocates for the overhaul said they battled more than three-dozen lobbyists for the payday lending industry who wanted to maintain the status quo, including interest rates and fees that averaged nearly 600 percent.

In the final chapter of one of the most surprising twists of the year, the Ohio house has agreed with the Senate’s changes to a payday lending overhaul and sent it to the governor’s office. It was a major shift that changed the fate of the bill.

Ohio lawmakers are preparing for a busy week at the Statehouse as they’re set to pass several big bills before leaving for summer break. As Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports, this week could set the tone for the lawmaking agenda for the rest of the year.

The payday lending bill is headlining the week as supporters and opponents clash over the measure. Consumer advocates are trying to fight proposed changes that they believe would gut the bill.

The Ohio House has passed controversial payday loan legislation meant to close loopholes those lenders use to charge high interest rates - as a reported probe into activities involving the former Speaker and payday lending lobbyists continues. 

Accusations are flying at the State Capitol as the Ohio House continues in disorder without a speaker. The lawmaker considered to be the frontrunner says his rivals, such as the payday lending industry, are pulling the strings to delay a vote. But a top lending association is mounting its own, major accusation.

The Ohio House was forced to cancel session as Republicans failed to reach an agreement on who should be the next House speaker. That decision means more than a dozen bills that were set for a vote were delayed. That includes a long-drawn out bill that would overhaul and crack down on the payday lending industry.

A bill to crack down on payday lending passed an Ohio House committee without any changes, a week after the House Speaker resigned and a vote on the bill was halted.

Ohio House Republicans balked at passing a bill to reform the payday lending industry just hours after the top Republican leader stepped down amid an FBI inquiry. Sources suggest that inquiry is tied to inappropriate contact with payday lobbyists. The bill was slated for a vote before some House leaders slammed on the brakes.

A battle is brewing over payday lending in Ohio. There are more than 650 storefronts in the state but the industry argues that a new bill threatens to shut them all down. However, consumer advocates say payday lending has been skirting around state law for years to prey on desperate borrowers. 

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At least 14 states have banned high-interest payday lending, but providing these short-term, high-interest loans is still a multi-billion dollar industry in the United States.