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Lawmakers Debate Payday Lending Problems

Filed under: Regulation, South Carolina — Ryan Fiore at 5:04 pm on Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Today South Carolina lawmakers debated new regulations that could change the way you get money from payday loans or if you can get it at all. Both North Carolina and Georgia have banned payday lending over the past five years, but the payday loan industry has been receiving some defense in South Carolina.

House Speaker Bobby Harrell is one of these people & with his backing last year he blocked efforts to bring tougher regulations to the industry. Harrell along with Harry Cato, a Travelers Rest Republican, are the top sponsors of a bill that is intended to limit consumers to taking out no more than one payday loan at a time and to take out only a cash advance of $600 dollars. This bill would also force these payday lenders to check a state database before granting the payday loan. The database could instantly tell the lender if any other loans are outstanding. The database “creates a mechanism to track and make sure they don’t have more than one loan at a time,” Cato said. This should help break the cycle where consumers that can not repay their payday loans repeatedly renew them, adding up additional fees.

The bill’s third top sponsor is Republican Bill Sandrifer, who expects the bill will be on the House floor for debate in a couple of weeks and that there’s no need for a lengthy discussion beforehand. “I think that we’ve come up with a bill that meets most people’s expectations,” Sandifer said. The payday loan bill currently has 72 co-sponsors among the House’s 123 current members.

To read more about payday lending bill set for fast track in SC house head on over to The Times and Democrat.

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