Payday lending bill clears Ohio Senate on bipartisan vote


The Ohio Senate voted 21-9 on Tuesday in favor of sweeping reforms for the payday lending industry — 10 years after Ohioans overwhelmingly embraced strict limits on how much lenders could charge.

The new reforms would impact roughly 1-million Ohio consumers who take out the short-term loans.

“This is a pro-consumer bill,” said state Sen. Scott Oelslager, R-Canton. “We have to do this to protect Ohioans as we move forward.”

Ten years ago, lawmakers passed a 28-percent APR cap on short term loans but lenders used a loophole to issue high-cost loans through other sections of state law.

“They’ve been gouging Ohioans ever since,” said state Sen. Vernon Sykes, D-Akron.

RELATED: Payday lending reforms ready to advance in Ohio Senate

State Sen. Bill Coley, R-West Chester, opposed the bill, saying, “Flat out: It’s a bad idea.” He said it’s ridiculous to think that any provisions in bill will stem the demand for payday and auto title loans.

House Bill 123 now returns to the House for consideration of Senate changes. Representatives are scheduled to return to Columbus in September.

The latest version calls for limiting loans to 12 months and principals of $1,000; restricting interest and fees on a loan to no more than 60 percent of the principal; closing a loophole used by lenders that led to some of the highest cost loans in the country; and limiting repayment schedules on loans of more than 90 days to 7-percent of the borrower’s monthly net income.

Also, loans that are secured with an auto title would be prohibited.

State Reps. Kyle Koehler, R-Springfield and Michael Ashford, D-Toledo, introduced HB123 in March 2017 but the bill sat dormant for months. Ohioans for Payday Loan Reform, a coalition of more than 50 civic, business and faith leaders, launched a campaign to put the issue on the statewide ballot.

RELATED: Former speaker received $43k in free travel in 2017

It became a political hot potato in April when it became public that the FBI is investigating then Ohio House speaker Cliff Rosenberger’s international trips that were underwritten in part by payday loan companies. The Clarksville Republican resigned April 10 and the FBI raided his home and storage unit in May.

The reforms are vehemently opposed by the payday lending industry. Lenders and their lobbyists as well as consumer advocates and their lobbyists have been working the halls of power for months on HB123. The bill has gone through whipsaw moments when momentum rapidly shifted from one side to the other.

Local area senators voting against the bill were Coley and Bob Hackett, R-London. Those in favor were: Bill Beagle, R-Tipp City, Peggy Lehner, R-Kettering, and Steve Wilson, R-Maineville.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in News

Florida man gunned down next to vigil for 2016 double homicide victims
Florida man gunned down next to vigil for 2016 double homicide victims

Deputies with Florida's St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office are investigating a deadly shooting in West Augustine. Lavert Durden, 28, was killed after an argument on Christopher and Aiken streets, according to the Sheriff's Office. Deputies are now looking for 30-year-old Brandon Calloway and have located 20-year-old Traevon Watson...
Rain, snow showers to cause wet roads for morning commute 
Rain, snow showers to cause wet roads for morning commute 

Snow showers north, rain south of I-70 early Roads stay mostly wet, light accumulation on grass Cooler than normal week again  TODAY: They’ll be two forecasts this morning: North of I-70 will be cold enough to see big, wet snowflakes, especially before sunrise. Along and south of I-70, including Dayton, we’ll see rain showers...
Leonid Meteor Shower 2018: 9 must-see photos of the celestial light show
Leonid Meteor Shower 2018: 9 must-see photos of the celestial light show

The annual Leonid meteor shower peaked this weekend, offering a stunning natural light show. Skygazers took to social media to share their photos of the celestial phenomenon. Here are some of our favorites: >> Read more trending news 
Nearly 100,000 pounds ground beef recalled over E. coli fears just before Thanksgiving
Nearly 100,000 pounds ground beef recalled over E. coli fears just before Thanksgiving

Utah-based Swift Beef Co. is recalling 99,260 pounds of raw ground beef products over possible E. coli contamination just in time for Thanksgiving, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. >> Read more trending news  The meat products were produced late last month and the potential contamination was confirmed last week. The products...
Which grocery stores are open on Thanksgiving Day 2018?
Which grocery stores are open on Thanksgiving Day 2018?

Even the best of cooks can end up missing an ingredient on Thanksgiving morning.  If you find yourself short on nutmeg or minus a few potatoes, there is a good chance a grocery store near you will be open on Thanksgiving for at least for part of the day. Here is a list of Thanksgiving Day openings, closings and store hours for national grocery...
More Stories