In a last-ditch effort to salvage payday loan reform, Rep. Mike Villarreal called on a recalcitrant Texas House committee to send legislation to the House.
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Industry insiders milled about the meeting late last night and it appeared that only Rep. Mike Villarreal, author of the bill, appeared to be the only member in favor of cracking down on payday establishment.
Late into the night, the payday loan industry strutted its stuff before a very friendly House committee. The hearing came just a week after the Senate passed a surprisingly tough bill that the industry insists would shut down most of Texas’ 3,400 payday and auto-title storefronts. Even though the legislation aired last night is a faint shadow the Senate bill, it got a rough treatment from six of the seven committee members.
Texas Observer Staff Writer Forrest Wilder hosted a public panel on reforming Texas’ payday loan industry.
The Lead: There aren’t many consumer victories at the Texas Capitol, but Monday’s debate on payday loan reform was certainly one of them. After […]
After a dramatic false start on Thursday, the big payday loan reform bill—tediously-negotiated by Sen. John Carona (R-Dallas)—easily cleared the Senate. But not before senators agreed to changes that would more or less kill the payday and auto-title industry in Texas.
Carona bluntly pointed senators out for being controlled by payday lender lobbyists before agreeing to hold off the vote for Monday.
An ugly scene erupted in the Texas Senate today, with Sen. John Carona (R-Dallas) suggesting that some of his Republican colleagues were “shills” for the payday loan industry and worrying that the GOP would be seen as “the party that is backed and bankrolled by payday lenders.”
Consumer advocates and Democrats are divided over a Senate bill that would impose light regulations on payday and auto-title lenders.
It’s becoming a perennial pastime at the Texas Capitol. Former speaker of the House Rep. Tom Craddick (R-Midland) files a simple one-page bill that would close a loophole that allows payday and auto-title lenders in Texas to avoid the state’s anti-usury laws and charge unlimited rates; everyone listens politely; and then the bill gets leapfrogged by much more convoluted payday reform legislation.