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From: Bart (129.171.32.13)
Subject:         GOP loan companies going ballistic after Ohio Dem gov outlaws 391% interest, up to usual dirty tricks
Date: August 18, 2008 at 9:01 pm PST

Ohio battles over payday loan interest rate cap

08/17/2008 @ 9:37 pm
Filed by Nick Langewis

Ohio, having dealt a blow to its payday loan industry by enacting a usury law, is teeming with charges of deceit in a petition drive to reverse the law.
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HB 545 was signed in June by Governor Ted Strickland, and will go into effect in early September. Under the law, the APR for a payday loan will be capped at 28%, and an Ohioan would be limited to four loans per year. Opponents of the legislation argued that outlawing such small, short-term loans, with an APR of up to 391%, will eliminate 6,000 jobs in Ohio and force as many as 1,500 statewide store locations to close.

Lynn DeVault, president of the Community Financial Services Association, issued a statement saying that lawmakers "[turned] their backs on their constituents and [played] politics."

"It is a sad day," she wrote, "when the opinions of editorial writers and so-called consumer groups count for more than the opinions of the people responsible for putting lawmakers in office."

Petitions to reverse HB 545 are currently circulating. An Ohio Public Radio program airing August 12 exposed signature collectors who were incorrectly representing the petition as one that would lower the interest rate cap further. Residents of a Butler County homeless shelter also alleged that they were offered money for their signatures.

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