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Payday Lending Practices Receive Scrutiny In Virginia

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By Anne Marie Morgan, Virginia Public Radio

Consumer advocates and 99 local governments in Virginia are calling on the state general assembly to cap interest rates on payday lending. Several lawmakers have also introduced legislation that would limit interest on similar, open-ended consumer loans.

Recent stricter laws have resulted in less payday lending, but consumers can still get these and other high-interest loans.

Staunton City Council Member Bruce Elder says localities see the negative effects, such as when lower-income citizens default and lose their cars.

"And at the heart of many of these situations -- this also is legal situations -- are these predatory loans, are these car-title loans. People have lost their ability to get back and forth to work," he says.

The 99 localities are calling for a 36 percent cap on payday lending and some on ALL similar loans. Bill opponents say the loans are the only way that consumers with bad credit can get urgently-needed cash.

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