Despite significant support, future uncertain for payday reform bill at the Statehouse

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – For years activists have fought for payday loan reform here in Ohio.

This week House Bill 123, which does just that, had its second hearing giving supporters and opponents a chance to weigh in on the legislation’s merits.

The Ohio Chamber of Commerce is opposed to the bill. According to their testimony, the 28% cap to interest rates would be detrimental to the lenders businesses and could cause them to close; which in turn would be devastating for the consumers who use and rely on the businesses.

Danielle Sydnor and the Cleveland branch of the NAACP supports the bill saying lenders have been preying on communities they serve.

The director of consumer finance for The Pew Charitable Trusts Nick Bourke says the legislation is a reasonable reform that keeps access to credit available while also lowering prices and insuring affordable payments and a reasonable time to repay it.

According to Bourke, Ohio has the worst payday loan market in the country.

“Because the law in Ohio is basically broken, lenders are doing whatever they want right now,” said Bourke.

Sydnor says people need access to credit but it should not be at the rates that we are seeing in today’s market place.

“Because it’s so unregulated and lenders are doing whatever they want Ohioans pay the most,” said Bourke. “They pay four times more in Ohio than the same companies charge the same types of borrowers elsewhere.”

The chairman of the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee State Representative Louis Blessing III has not decided if, or when, the bill will get another hearing.

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