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Government/Politics

Group That Says Ohio Has Highest Payday Lending Rates In Nation Urges Lawmakers To Pass Crackdown

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One of several payday lending stores on Route 161 in northeast Columbus.

A national group that says Ohio’s payday lending rates are the highest in the nation came out strongly against possible changes to a bill that would crack down on the industry.

The bill would cap interest rates at 28 percent. Nick Bourke with the Pew Charitable Trusts told a Senate committee that Republican Sen. Matt Huffman’s ideas to replace that cap with consumer protections like no cost payment plans and referrals to other lenders or bankruptcy attorneys won’t bring down the cost of payday loans. “These add confusion and complexity and cost to the process without necessarily protecting consumers," Bourke said.

But  Sen. Bill Coley (R-Cincinnati) said the bill can’t pass in its current form. “Amendments to this bill are vital because it’s just, it’s unworkable the way it is," said Coley.

The bill, which payday lenders say will kill the industry, passed the House overwhelmingly, and no changes to the bill have been officially offered yet.

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