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.
Tag Archives: usury
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.
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.”
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.
At a legislative hearing this morning, state Sen. John Carona, the Dallas Republican who’s leading the payday “reform” effort in the Senate, basically said the industry had bought off lawmakers. Carona was defending the latest version of his payday loan legislation, which most advocates derided as unacceptably weak.
Former legislators don’t die, they come back as lobbyists quicker than you can say cha-ching! Today’s profile in reincarnation is former state Rep. Vicki Truitt, who oversaw a watered-down payday loan reform effort last session. She is now lobbying for Cash America.
After we published my story on how a major Texas-based payday loan chain, the Cash Store, has found a way around new state and […]
As serendipity would have it, I had stumbled onto the latest mutant creature in the wild and wooly world of Texas payday lending. “What you’ve come across is really important,” said Ann Baddour of Texas Appleseed. “It looks like they have found a loophole within a loophole.”
Let’s be plain about what makes these businesses so profitable: usury. Structuring a loan to charge $130 in fees per $100 borrowed (that’s the average for a payday loan paid back in installments) is usury, regardless of the political contortions that keep such businesses legal.