It remains difficult to fathom that the leaders in the General Assembly would really want to open the can of worms that is payday lending, but, as we have reported on several occasions here recently, powerful state Senators are indeed advancing a bill to re-legalize the long-banned practice here in North Carolina.
Meanwhile, opposition to the idea continues to surface and grow in numerous places. Here are just a few:
Yesterday, the North Carolina Council of Churches devoted the newest issue of its Raleigh Report to a description of the evils of two-week, triple-digit interest rate loans.
This morning, AARP of North Carolina weighed in. The group called on its large membership to contact their legislators and tell them to “keep legalized loansharks out of NC!”
These reports come on top of a new study by the Pew Charitable Trusts (reported in Raleigh’s News & Observer on Wednesday) that found that: “just 14 percent of borrowers nationwide can afford to pay off the average payday loan when it comes due. Consequently, most borrowers end up renewing their loans or, alternatively, paying them off and then quickly taking out a new one.”
A new article by Paul Woolverton in this morning’s Fayetteville Observer also provides a good summary of the situation as does this editorial in the N&O.
Meanwhile, other than legislative sponsors and paid flacks for the industry, this sums up the arguments in favor of the loans from any credible or independent sources.