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Loan sharks…that high-interest loan companies in North Carolina “haven’t had a rate increase in 30 years”  tell him/her that this statement is, in a word, baloney (and feel free to use a stronger word).

#1: Inflation for lenders is accounted for through the issuance of larger and larger loans, not higher and higher interest rates. As with home and car loans, the average finance company loan in North Carolina 30 years ago was much smaller than it is today. It is simply absurd to even imply Read More

Predatory loansMembers of the Senate Commerce Committee approved a bill today that would jack up interest rates on small loans made in North Carolina to unprecedented levels. The bottom line on the bill: Already high-cost loans will become bigger, more expensive and harder to pay off. 

The action came on a voice vote after several experts explained why the bill would be a disaster for already struggling consumers.

I know: No big surprise for the 2013 North Carolina General Assembly — a group whose motto ought to be “When corporate lobbyists say ‘jump,’ we say ‘how high?’”

Still, this morning’s hearing featured a moment of such blatant and downright stunning hypocrisy, it had to be witnessed to be believed.

Consider the following: Read More

Pat McCrory 2Raleigh’s News & Observer reports that Gov. McCrory has given a “thumbs down” on the proposal to re-legalize payday lending in North Carolina. Meanwhile over at the General Assembly, there’s no word whether bill sponsor Sen. Jerry Tillman slammed any doors when he heard the news, but reliable reports indicate that the Senator is, shall we say, seriously miffed at the Guv.

Let’s hope McCrory sticks to his position anyway and kills this nutty idea before it goes any further.

Payday loansThe NC Justice Center reports:

A  new poll released today shows staggeringly low levels of support for a bill that would legalize loans of up to 300 percent in North Carolina. Indeed, nearly three-fourths of North Carolinians say they would be less likely to vote for a legislator that supported the bill.

The poll, conducted by Public Policy Polling, shows that only seven percent of North Carolinians support the push to legalize payday lending in North Carolina, compared with 73 percent who would like to see current lending limits remain intact.

Current law allows interest rates of up to 54 percent, but a new bill, Senate Bill 89, would allow payday lenders to charge an annual percentage rate well above 300 percent.

Significantly, seven out of 10 respondents say that they would oppose the law even if they knew for sure it would create jobs and allow easier access to credit.

The poll has serious implications for lawmakers. Read More

Payday lending 3It 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, Read More