Archive for July, 2005

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Republic Bank, Advance America Part Ways

By John Mitsuda
Payday Loan Writer

Louisville, Kentucky — Advance America, of Spartanburg, S.C., announced last week that it had terminated its marketing and servicing agreement with Louisville’s Republic Bank & Trust Co. and struck a new pact with First Fidelity Bank, of South Dakota.

Republic had a three-year relationship with Advance America, which has six outlets in Louisville and Southern Indiana. Republic doesn’t plan on leaving the payday loan industry, but rather will offer a web product. If successful, Steve Trager, Republic’s chief executive, says the payday advance program will be expanded nationwide.

Advance America Case Returns to North Carolina Commissioner

By Roman Parchowsky
Payday Loan Writer

Raleigh, North Carolina — The case against Advance America, a major payday lender, will go back before the State Banking Commissioner Monday. Attorney General Roy Cooper said the lender is violating North Carolina’s consumer finance laws. Advance America is the largest payday loan company in North Carolina, with over 100 stores statewide.

The state has not sanctioned payday advances since a law expired in 2001. However, some companies have maintained payday lending by working with out-of-state banks.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Illinois Woman Seen as Key to Limits on Payday Industry

By Danielle Mason
Payday Loan Writer

Streator, Illinois — Ginny McCauley, a Streator, Illinois woman, was on hand last month as Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed legislation that put stricter limits on the Illinois payday loan industry (House Bill 1100).

McCauley worked for a payday loan company for several years and became dismayed with the interest rates that were offered along with acceptance of payday loans. She stressed that it was not the company she was dismayed with, but the practices of the industry as a whole.

McCauley said that by the time she got involved with the bill about 1-1/2 years ago, a version of it already was being worked on by legislators for the past several years.

“I didn’t realize how long it took for a bill to be put together,�? McCauley said.

For her help in getting the bill to restrict payday cash advances passed, McCauley will be presented with the Monsignor John Egan Campaign for Payday Loan Reform “Vision Award�? on July 28 at the DePaul Student Center in Lincoln Park.

She also was given one of the pens used by the governor to sign the bill into law.

Saturday, July 9, 2005

Rising Consumer Debt Means Busy Payday Loan Stores in Canada

By John Mitsuda
Payday Loan Writer

Contrary to popular belief, Canadians who frequent payday loan shops are well-educated, pocket decent incomes and don’t believe they are being ripped off.

The study, commissioned by the payday-loan industry, indicated users of the service are generally satisfied and opt to go because of the convenience, and the refusal by chartered banks to provide small, short-term unsecured loans.

The survey indicated only five per cent of the Canadian population uses payday lenders. Of those who do, the average income is about $41,500. Of the customers surveyed, 35% had incomes of more than $50,000.

Even though Canadian payday loans, like American payday loans, also have triple digit APRs, 72 percent of payday loan applicants surveyed said they thought the cost of taking out a payday loan was reasonable. Whether a fast cash advance is right for you is a different matter. Think it through and be sure you are prepared for the responsibility.

Wednesday, July 6, 2005

Pima County, Arizona, Seeks Restrictions on Payday Loan Locales

By Roman Parchowsky
Payday Loan Writer

Pima County, Arizona, may put the brakes on the meteoric growth of payday loan businesses.

The Board of Supervisors voted 4-0 Tuesday, at Democrat Richard Elias’ request, to have the county staff draw up a law that could either limit the number of check-cashing businesses, or regulate how close one can be to another. This law would include Tuscon if officials determine this is a public welfare issue.

In terms of limitting the number, the board would like to see a limit set of 1 store per 10,000 residents. Currently there’s 1 per 7,200.

As far as distance? They would like to see the minimum distance between store to be 500 or even 1,000 feet.

This could be a big detriment to the explosive growth (16 stores in ‘00 to up 78 in ‘03) of the payday loan industry in Tuscon. — nearly bringing it to a halt.

Monday, July 4, 2005

Colorado Payday Loan Industry Proliferates

By Danielle Mason
Payday Loan Writer

Todd Hills, owner of the Westminster-based Pawn One Inc., introduced payday lending to his Jumping Jack Cash pawn shops about a year ago. After opening one stand-alone payday loan shop, Jumping Jack Cash Payday Advance, Todd Hills has seen “many more opportunities” with the stand-alone shop. He plans on opening 10 more by the end of second quarter, 2006.

Why do Todd and so many other entrepreneurs see so much money in this industry? Payday lending has more than doubled in Colorado since 2000, thanks to factors such as convenience, increased exposure, a lack of other small-loan sources and — some say — large fees for bounced checks and late payments.

The number of Colorado locations that offer payday loans has nearly tripled in five years, from 186 in 2000 to 550 today, according to Laura Udis, first assistant attorney general for consumer credit in the Colorado Attorney General’s Office.

Why the trend? One factor is that traditional lenders no longer make loans of $500 or $1,000, Udis said. Another reason is that bounced-check fees are higher than payday lender fees, causing consumers to borrow rather than write bad checks, he said, and consumers like the “straightforward proposition” of a payday loan.

Sunday, July 3, 2005

Illinois Passes Pay Day Loan Reform Act

By Roman Parchowsky
Payday Loan Writer

Last month Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed a bill regulating predatory lenders into law.

The state’s Pay Day Loan Reform Act established loan limits based on income and outstanding debt. Borrowers will be limited to receiving instant payday loans of $1,000, or 25 percent of their gross monthly income.

The legislation also limits time for repayment to 45 days and interest to 15 percent per $100 borrowed. Previously, lenders could charge up to 1000% interest!

Additionally, consumers would be limited to two loans statewide at any given time.

Saturday, July 2, 2005

Angry Lawmaker Torpedoes Oregon Payday Loan Bill

By Roman Parchowsky
Payday Loan Writer

Angered by insinuations that some lawmakers have been bought off with campaign contributions from the payday loan industry, an Oregon House committee chairman says he is going to shelve a bill that would cap rates charged by payday loan shops.

“The bill’s dead,” Rep. Wayne Krieger said last wast week after his committee canceled a public hearing on the Senate-passed bill to limit interest on the short-term payday loans to 15 percent.

Krieger and other Republicans are upset because a campaign finance watchdog group this past week released figures showing that payday loan agencies and other financial groups opposing the bill contributed nearly $150,000 last fall to legislative candidates.

Friday, July 1, 2005

Virginia Lawmakers Limit Payday Loan Firms’ Ability to Garnish Military Wages

By Roman Parchowsky
Payday Loan Writer

In Virginia, a new state law, effective today, offers military service members and their family some protection from payday loan lenders. The law prevents short-term no fax cash loan companies from garnisheeing military wages and prohibits them from collecting against deployed service members or their families.

In addition the law prohibits lenders from contacting a military member’s commanding officer to collect on a loan. It requires the lender to be bound by repayment agreements negotiated through military counselors or another third party credit adviser.

And if a base commander declares a payday loan center off limits, lenders are barred from making loans to military personnel.

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