Here is what we mean by growing opposition.
Just this morning, the Harrisburg Patriot-News Editorial urged legislators to reject HB 2191:
If his bill passes, Pennsylvania will have businesses such as “Cash N Go” and “Cash America” in most strip malls
and street corners in poor areas of town. Some say it will bring jobs, but at what cost? We’re likely talking about minimum
wage jobs to charge outrageous interest rates on fellow citizens who are desperate for money. That’s not job
creation,that’s community destruction.
It’s just like the mortgage lending mess. If it sounds too good to be true, it is. Perhaps Pennsylvania lawmakers have
forgotten how the payday loan industry used to target the U.S. military. It got so vicious that President George W. Bush
signed a law in 2006 forbidding loans to servicemen and their families above 36 percent because the 400 percent
plus loans were so devastating to our military. Is this the industry we want to invite into Pennsylvania to target our low
income populations and elderly?
There will never be enough protections on a person getting a 400 percent loan. All it does is make a bad financial situation
worse once these lenders get first priority to people’s bank accounts. Pennsylvania would have to be crazy to invite the
payday loan industry into our midst.
Last month, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said the same thing - that legislators should reject HB 2191
Mr. Ross argues in a memo that HB 2191 has "the strongest consumer protections available in other states that regulate
the practice." Sounds like the same assurance foxes give farmers before prowling the henhouse.
Fortunately, eight legislators who originally supported the bill have withdrawn their backing upon further study of the plan.
With borrowers carrying record levels of debt and too many people without jobs, this is no time to increase the
financial burden on Pennsylvanians.
These media voices join the growing chorus of Pennsylvanians across the state opposing predatory payday loans at 300% annual interest rates. View the full list of opposition here, and note its diversity of stakeholders - veterans groups, United Way, faith-based organizations, credit counseling agencies, community development financial institutions, and more.
Last week, representatives of Pennsylvanians opposing HB 2191 testified at a public hearing - AARP, Action Housing, Lutheran Advocacy Ministry of Pennsylvania, and Community Legal Services. The only people who showed up in support of HB 2191 was an out-of-state payday company and out-of-state consulting firms which conduct studies paid for by the payday lenders. For a great recap of the hearing, see this article in the Allentown Morning Call, in which after attending the hearing, the reporter concluded:
Our leaders think the way to stop what seems to be a relatively small problem is to expose the greater public to the potential
hardships of payday loans by permitting lenders to set up shop in poor cities like Allentown....I agree that working-class
families may not have many options for getting fast cash or paying emergency bills, but I don't see payday loans as the
Despite this growing opposition - or perhaps because of it - the payday lenders are seeking to move this bill as fast as possible. We must act now to urge our legislators to vote against it. The bill is scheduled for a vote in the Consumer Affairs committee, this Wednesday at 10:15 a.m., please contact your legislators today to tell them to reject HB 2191, reject 300% interest rate loans.