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Friday, February 2, 2007

Not Dead Yet

posted by on February 2 at 9:04 AM

Rep. Steve Kirby (D-Tacoma) proudly announced the death yesterday of a bill that would cap payday loan interest rates at 36 percent (they now top out at about 400 percent APR). Kirby says he won’t give the bill a hearing in his insurance and finance committee, thus preventing it from reaching a vote in the house. Kirby instead put forward his alternative, a bill that would establish a payment plan for consumers who get into trouble with a payday loan. The plan can only be used once a year and closely resembles a similar option that is already in place.

Leaders of the coalition to cap payday loans say they haven’t given up. They will continue to press forward in the senate, where the bill has not yet been introduced.

Aaron Toso with Communities Against Payday Predators cited the growing public and political support for the cap. Organized labor added its heft to the list this week. “Thatís our hope,” Toso said, “that it just gets so big they canít close the door on it.”

A 2006 poll found that over 80 percent of Washingtonians would support a bill requiring payday lenders to “abide by the same consumer loan laws affecting banks and other lenders.”

It seems to me that the success of the cap will depend on whether the coalition can lean hard enough on Democratic legislative leaders to force their underlings to give the bill a chance. House Speaker Frank Chopp told the Tacoma News that the conversations would continue. But the reference was oblique. More to come if I can get up with some big Dems. A cap campaign in Oregon took two years of similarly desperate fighting. My home state’s cap goes into effect this summer.

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sigh...even more proof that democrats are as stupid and greedy and in the pockets of big business as the republicans....

Posted by michael strangeways | February 2, 2007 9:20 AM

Why do the liberals always assume that poor people are stupid? Poor people are smart! They go to these payday loan places for the lovely decor, companionship of their peers, and because they believe passionately in the free market, and want to show that belief through action.

They spend every last cent they get from payday loans on consumer goods, like plasma TVs and fancy cars with those spinning tire things, that those of us who are fiscally responsible only get when we can pay cash. And don't forget about MacDonalds. Sure, it makes them fat, but as acolytes of the pure capitalism movement, no sacrifice is too great.

It's the soft bigotry of low expectations on the part of the greedy liberals that would want to squelch this, and it's the children of the poor (who are surely all illegitimate, but that's not important right now) who would suffer most.

Why do liberals hate America?

Posted by Proud Conservative | February 2, 2007 9:28 AM

I thought that Kirby represented working people down in Lakewood? What gives?

Something needs to be done about payday lending in this state...they have already have banned the bastards in 11 states.

Come on Legislature, show the working peeps some love.

Posted by Sharky the loan hater | February 2, 2007 9:31 AM

I sometimes miss being in a state with decent consumer protection (New York - thank you, Eliot Spitzer.)

Posted by tsm | February 2, 2007 9:38 AM

So this fairly simple, straight forward proposal to cap pay day loan interest rates has 80% support state wide? Can anyone say "initiative"?

Posted by dreamflying | February 2, 2007 10:15 AM

I remember living in BC, where the max loan rate is 36 percent - period.

It was fun.

I agree with @5 - sounds like a consumer initiative is going to happen if they don't do it this year.

Posted by Will in Seattle | February 2, 2007 11:34 AM

oh, and @2, it's you Reds that hate America. We Blues are tired of your whining combat-avoiding Big Govt Big Deficit ways.

Posted by Will in Seattle | February 2, 2007 11:36 AM

don't be hatin'....

Posted by michael strangeways | February 2, 2007 12:03 PM

Actually its people like those of you that donít have the facts that cause the biggest problem. Payday lending hasnít been banned in 11 states. It's only been banned in Georgia and that state will have new enabling legislation pass this year. The states you refer to never had enabling legislation or their rate caps were so low no one opened there.

Get the facts before you open your mouth and sound as stupid as you are uninformed.

Posted by Bob | February 2, 2007 12:42 PM

"Payday lending hasnít been banned in 11 states. It's only been banned in Georgia and that state will have new enabling legislation pass this year. The states you refer to never had enabling legislation or their rate caps were so low no one opened there."

So what? What's the difference? There wouldn't be nearly as much complaining about payday loans if MoneyTree was offering interest rates at, say, the level of your average credit card. But that's not profitable enough by itself for them to operate, so a rate cap that low is essentially a ban.

Posted by tsm | February 2, 2007 2:27 PM

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