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Payday Lending Bill Passes the Mississippi Senate

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 21 Jan 2011 07:28am | comments
Dan Robinson talks to reporters after the vote.

New pay day lending regulations could soon become law in Mississippi. Legislators from the House and Senate have to work out minor differences between the Senate bill that passed on Friday. MPB's Jeffrey Hess reports.

There is one slight difference between the house and senate versions of the bill.

The senate gives borrowers taking less than 300 dollars up to 21 days to repay. The house version sets that limit at 200 dollars.

This change makes little difference to people who oppose the lenders. During debate, Senator Alice Harden of Jackson argued that the lenders prey on the poor and needy.

"They come into our communities and they suck the blood out and they never give back for any reason," Harden said.

The core argument against the lenders is that they trap desperate people in a cycle of debt. Pahedra Robinson with the Mississippi Center for Justice lobbied the legislature for much tighter restrictions on the lenders.

"This is one of the products that are in the mainstream that are causing a lot of stress on families and homeowners across the state of Mississippi," Robinson said.

Supporters of extending the law contend that outlawing the lenders will actually make things harder of those who are poor and need quick cash....Senator Gary Jackson of French Camp.

"What I don't want to do is cut off, or make it so hard for that person to get the money that we go back to the pre-days where he had to take that ring to the pawn shop and leave it," Jackson said.

Dan Robinson is an industry representative and payday lender. He says he understands the concerns but takes issue with how some lawmakers are portraying the industry.

"The Mississippians who owns these businesses and live and work here in Mississippi, they give a lot back to the community. I know we have got some that do Blair E. Batson. We have got some that do the American Cancer Society," Robinson said.

Both chambers have to approve identical bills, the house will either vote on the senate bill or decide to go to conference to work out a compromise bill to vote on.

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Dan Robinson talks to reporters after the vote.


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