Will the Government Finally Regulate Predatory Lenders?
Some 200,000 households in Louisiana borrow from payday lenders every year; in Baton Rouge, 20 percent of bankruptcy cases involve the loans. But Together Louisiana, a coalition of religious and civic groups, found out just how hard it can be to fight the predatory lenders. The group ran up against a wall of opposition when they launched a campaign for stricter payday lending rules. The number of industry lobbyists at the statehouse jumped from a handful at the beginning of the legislative session to more than fifty by its end. In late April, the state Senate rejected the bill. Advocates in Louisiana are now awaiting new rules from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which is expected to introduce new regulations on the industry this fall.