Payday lending bill flies through PA state house

It’s so much fun when the Republicans are in charge of your state, isn’t it?

Room 148 of the State Capitol might as well double as a Capitol broom closet. That’s where theHouse Consumer Affairs Committee this morning rushed out amendments to House Bill 2191, which legalizes predatory payday lending in Pennsylvania.


The amendments to HB 2191 were misleadingly pitched as adding more consumer protections to the bill. Even the Navy Marine Corps Relief Societytook a look at these amendments and said they do “nothing to mitigate the already harmful aspects of HB 2191,” and that one amendment “actually worsens the problem it claims to solve.”


What is Payday Lending? Payday lending encompasses small loans, usually for two weeks or less, that require a post-dated check or electronic access to a borrower’s bank account as a condition of the loan. Fees and interest in states that allow payday lending typically total $15 to $17 for every $100 borrowed — amounting to an effective annual percentage rate of more than 300 percent for a loan due in full in 14-days.


One focus of the amendments this morning was language banning renewals or rollovers of a payday loan, as if that was a solution to stopping the long-term cycle of debt. It is not.