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The folks at Progress NC have identified a simple way to end the General Assembly’s absurd attempt to re-legalize predatory, triple-digit interest payday loans in North Carolina: The State’s Governor can simply reiterate the opposition to the industry that he voiced in his 2007 campaign for re-election as Mayor of Charlotte.

This is from a Progress NC release sent out this morning:

RALEIGH – Progress NC today called on Gov. Pat McCrory to speak out against payday lending, a position he’s already taken. A new bill filed in the NC Senate would bring predatory payday lenders back to North Carolina for the first time since 2006. Senate Bill 89 would allow payday lenders to charge interest up to 391% annually. 

In a 2007 mayoral debate, Pat McCrory spoke out against payday lending: Read More

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As they have several times in past years, experts who counsel vulnerable soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines are speaking out against the expansion of predatory lending in North Carolina. Today, the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society sent a letter to the General Assembly in which the group makes clear what a terrible idea it would be to re-legalize “payday” lending as is proposed in recently introduced legislation.

According to the letter (which is signed by the Society’s President, Retired Admiral Steve Abbot):

“The negative impact of payday loans on military readiness is profound, and the harm caused by these loans is significant; exhausting resources that could be used in other ways, and creating unnecessary hardship for military families (and others).” 

Click here to read the entire letter.

 

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Payday loansWell, that didn’t take long. Sensing with good reason that it’s now open season on struggling families at the North Carolina General Assembly, the predatory “payday lending” industry is already banging on the door on Jones Street seeking to have its parasitic industry (which was banned in the state in 2001) made legal once more in North Carolina. Senators Jerry Tillman and Clark Jenkins filed the bill yesterday and it will be formally introduced in the Senate today.

As we have reported repeatedly in this space over the years, “payday lending” is the pernicious practice of making short-term loans (typically of a week or two in length) to desperate people at effective annual interest rates of several hundred percent. Read More

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Harold BrubakerAs anyone who happened to glance at the front page of this past Sunday’s edition of Raleigh’s News & Observer probably noticed, former North Carolina House Speaker and Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Brubaker has gotten through the almost meaningless six-month “cooling off period” during which former legislators are barred from lobbying their old chums. He now appears ready to make a big splash as a high-powered lobbyist.

Already, Brubaker has signed up nine separate clients for Brubaker and Associates for the 2013 legislative session that begins in earnest tomorrow. Some lobbyists represent more “principals” than this, however, so it wouldn’t be surprising if this number grew in the days to come.

Most of the nine are about who you would expect: insurance companies, doctor groups, the beer and wine lobby and, as is frequently the case for big shot “lobsters,” the requisite nonprofit client. One client that many would not have predicted, however, is this one: Read More

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In a big win for consumers, Alabama-based Regions Bank has shelved its practice of making predatory, high-cost “payday” loans in North Carolina. This is from a statement released today by my colleague Jeff Shaw at the Justice Center:

MEDIA RELEASE: Regions Bank Halts Illegal Payday Lending in North Carolina

RALEIGH (January 16, 2013) – After a campaign by consumer advocates and state leaders, a bank dropped its harmful payday lending program in North Carolina.

Payday loans have been illegal in North Carolina for more than a decade, but that hasn’t stopped all payday lending.  For the past year, Regions Bank has used federal banking law to offer payday loans that are illegal for any other lender to make in our state.  These loans carried, on average, an annual percentage rate (APR) of 365%.  Now, after significant pressure from consumer advocates and the state Attorney General’s office, Regions has quietly dropped its payday lending program for North Carolina customers. Read More