A bill to legalize high-interest payday loans in Pennsylvania stalled this week after a bipartisan group of state senators took a look at the plan and said no way. The Harrisburg Patriot-News was on top of the story:
Opponents of this lending practice see that as good news for the state’s most vulnerable residents who might turn to these lenders for high-priced loans to get them through to their next payday.
They also view the measure’s stalling in the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee, where it fell two votes shy of passing in the waning days of this two-year legislative session, as a short-term victory. Its critics suspect the out-of-state companies and their lobbyists will be back again next year when the new legislative session begins.
“We are committed to fighting this over the long term and being vigilant to stop the predatory lenders from harming vulnerable Pennsylvanians,” said Kerry Smith, who is staff attorney for Community Legal Services of Philadelphia, which assists low-income residents.
To be clear, payday lending is not dead, as the Patriot article notes. Polls show Pennsylvanians oppose legalizing this type of lending, but out-of-state lenders are not giving up. They will be back next year, advancing payday lending while trying to change the subject, as Mark Price observed last week. But the will of the people — and the editorial boards — on payday lending remains clear: Don’t legalize it.
So here's your chance to join the chorus of Pennsylvania voices opposed to payday lending. The Patriot is polling readers online on their opinions of payday lending in Pennsylvania. Should it be allowed or not? Please take a minute to vote NO. Let's keep predatory lending out of Pennsylvania.