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Government/Politics

Payday Lenders' Critics Sound Off On Proposed Rules; Industry Blasts Back

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Karen Kasler
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Pastor Carl Ruby from Central Christian Church in Springfield, Kalitha Williams from Policy Matters Ohio and Bill Faith from the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio (COHHIO) urge public comment on proposed CFPB rules on payday lenders.

New proposed rules on payday lenders require them to assess the ability of borrowers to pay back those short term, high interest loans. But advocates who work with low-income Ohioans say those rules are a good start, but don’t go far enough.

Pastor Carl Ruby of Central Christian Church in Springfield is among those who work with low-income Ohioans calling for tougher rules on payday lenders.  “I don’t see this as right or left issue, I don’t see this as a Democrat or a Republican issue. For me as an evangelical pastor, I see this as a moral issue," he said.

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Payday lenders charge annual rates of 391% for the short-term loans they provide to high-risk and often desperate borrowers, according to Bill Faith with the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio or COHHIO, who says any concern about losing the jobs they provide is misplaced. “Nobody ever complained about the jobs we were losing when they went after the Mob.”

Pat Crowley speaks for the Ohio Consumer Lenders Association, which he says provides a needed service. “These are hardworking people that Bill Faith offended, and he misrepresents customers who aren’t complaining about the industry en masse.”

The public comment period on the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s proposed rules on payday lenders is open till September.