breaking news

Parents of Otto Warmbier file wrongful death lawsuit against N. Korea

Springfield lawmaker seeks to regulate payday lenders


A bill to regulate payday lenders proposed by a Springfield lawmaker is finally seeing movement in the Statehouse, months after it was introduce.

Calling his plan to regulate payday lenders “common sense legislation,” Rep. Kyle Koehler, R-Springfield, presented it to an Ohio House committee last week.

RELATED: Springfield pastor seeking local support for payday lending bill

House Bill 123, sponsored by Koehler and Rep. Michael Ashford, D-Toledo, closes a loophole in state law that allows payday lenders and auto title lenders to operate without adhering to previously passed regulations. The bill was introduced March 8.

Koehler held up photos of payday stores on East Main Street in Springfield during his testimony in the House.

“As soon as you pass the ‘Welcome to Springfield’ sign, there are nine (payday lenders) in the first 5,200 feet,” Koehler told the committee.

Koehler’s plan is designed to force lenders to operate under a law first passed and supported by voters statewide in 2008.

TRENDING STORY: 6-month sentence in child sex assault case: 3 things to know

“Everyone thinks we took care of this in 2008 but in reality today, with 650 payday lenders in the state of Ohio, no one is licensed under the law from 2008,” Koehler said.

The bill would cap loan interest rates at 28 percent and limit monthly service fees charged to customers.

The Ohio Consumer Lenders Association, which represents the payday industry, voiced their opposition to the bill when it was first introduced, saying the businesses can’t operate under the proposed changes.

“Calls by consumer groups and legislators to choke off access to credit to under-banked people in this country shows a lack of understanding of middle class Americans and is blatant discrimination,” spokesman Patrick Crowley has said.

DETAILS: $1.3K gold coin found in Springfield Salvation Army kettle — again

The industry charges fees, not interest rates, Crowley has said, and their services help people pay medical bills and buy groceries, or “everyday things that people need to survive.”

Backers of the plan from Springfield and other communities packed the House committee room, including Rev. Carl Ruby of Springfield’s Central Christian Church.

“We know this is just the beginning of the battle and there will be a lot of push-back from the industry,” Ruby said.

The crowd at the hearing included several opponents. Rev. Aaron Phillips of the Cleveland Clergy Coalition said he feared more regulation would force payday lenders to close. The loans are better than bouncing a check, he said.

“We need financial choices and this is a choice for us,” Phillips said. “Many people use this as a tool to pay their rent, to pay their car note and to pay their utility bill.”

Rep. Niraj Antani, R-Miamisburg, believes the regulations in the bill would be harmful to consumers.

“When you shut down access to credit, it will cause those who are struggling to be harmed,” Antani said.

Koehler said he has been assured by House leadership that he will be granted at least two additional hearings on the bill, one to allow supporters to testify and another to feature opponents. Beyond that, said Koehler, there are no guarantees.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Politics

Bill could cut defense jobs around Ohio; not Wright-Patt, Turner says
Bill could cut defense jobs around Ohio; not Wright-Patt, Turner says

Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton, said Wednesday a House Republican measure that could threaten civilian defense jobs in other parts of the state won’t impact Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. “None of the agencies impacted” are headquartered at the state’s largest single-site employer, Turner said. Central Ohio civic and business...
Solutions from local opioid forums presented to state leaders
Solutions from local opioid forums presented to state leaders

Proposed solutions to Ohio’s addiction crisis that grew out of a collaboration between journalists and local communities will be presented to Gov. John Kasich’s office. Through a series of community forums, including five in southwest Ohio in February, journalists with Your Voice Ohio heard from an estimated 500 individuals who have been...
What is State Issue 1 on the May ballot?
What is State Issue 1 on the May ballot?

On May 8, Ohio voters will decide on major changes to how Ohio draws district lines for members of Congress. The issue, put on the ballot by the General Assembly by a bi-partisan vote of 83-10 in the House and a unanimous vote in the Senate, is supposed to create a fairer process. After every census, Ohio lawmakers change the state’s congressional...
Gov. Kasich orders review of Ohio gun background check program
Gov. Kasich orders review of Ohio gun background check program

Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed an executive order Monday to get an update on weaknesses in the state’s gun background-check system. Failure by local courts and law enforcement to send timely data to the state, which forwards it to National Instant Criminal Background Check System, could mean guns are being purchased by people who are ineligible...
Guns, minimum wage top issues in Democratic governor primary
Guns, minimum wage top issues in Democratic governor primary

Four years ago, Ohio Democrats pushed hard for a gubernatorial candidate who looked good on paper and found one: Ed FitzGerald. The campaign was soon run aground by scandal — including news reports that he had been questioned by police after they found him in a parked car in the early morning hours with a woman who was not his wife — and...
More Stories