Payday lending

Posted Saturday, May. 04, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Senate Bill 1247, placing tight controls on payday lending, was approved by the Texas Senate on April 22 with a resounding vote of 24-6.

The bill includes a dozen amendments that strengthened it and allows tougher city ordinances to stand (in Denton, El Paso, Austin, San Antonio and soon probably Houston). It also caps all loans at an annual rate of 36 percent — the same rate placed by federal regulations on loans made to military personnel.

This is still high, but much better than the 500 percent APR now charged by some Texas payday lenders.

Some payday lenders are working to circumvent city ordinances. The solution is a tough state law with real reforms.

The Senate bill is now before the House, which is reportedly not as supportive. Can that be due to the millions in contributions that payday lenders have made to these elected officials? House members need to stand with the people of Texas, not payday lenders.

We are all called to care for the poorest among us. I urge the House to pass the Senate version of this bill now.

— Richard L. Simms, Denton

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