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Supporters pleased Ohio House Committee votes to move payday loan reform bill forward

Full House, Senate Must Act To Enact These Fair, Overdue Reforms

Nate Coffman speaks to the press following the successful vote on HB 123.

COLUMBUS – April 18 – Ohioans for Payday Loan Reform applauded the Ohio House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee for today voting 9-1 to send House Bill 123 on to the full House for a vote. If it becomes law, HB123 would make vast improvements to the payday lending landscape in Ohio.

Committee members voted overwhelmingly in favor of the bill as introduced more than a year ago by Reps. Kyle Koehler, R-Springfield, and Mike Ashford, D-Toledo. The only dissenting vote came from Rep. Bill Seitz, R-Cincinnati, who unsuccessfully tried to make amendments to the bill.

“It has been a long, difficult road to get this bill through committee,’’ said Springfield Pastor Carl Ruby, one of the coalition’s leaders. “I thank the majority of committee members who finally saw how much this will help hundreds of thousands of Ohio families trapped in debt and save them millions of dollars each year.

“But I especially want to thank Reps. Koehler and Ashford, who have demonstrated a sustained tenacity in working on this vital effort to protect Ohio residents,’’ said Ruby. “It’s not been easy in the face of payday lenders’ well-heeled lobbying efforts.’’

Coalition leaders also acknowledged Rep. Kirk Schuring, who had worked on amendments to HB 123 but, ultimately, agreed that the original bill should be voted on. “We might not have agreed with everything Rep. Schuring was working on, but we believe his heart was in the right place,’’ said David Thomas, a coalition leader from Ashtabula County.

“It is important that the full House move quickly to approve the bill and send it on to the Senate,” said coalition leader Nate Coffman of the Ohio CDC Association. “We can’t let them forget that in the first year this bill was stalled in committee, it cost Ohioans an estimated $75 million,’’ said Coffman. “The full House and the Senate can’t let that happen any longer. We encourage them to act swiftly in the best interests of all Ohioans.’’

Ohio has the dubious distinction of having the highest lending rates in the nation, with typical annual percentage rates on payday loans approaching 600%.

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ACTION ALERT: Payday Lending Scandal

Dear Members & Stakeholders:

OCDCA has been involved in a coalition, Ohioans for Payday Lending Reform, to enact meaningful payday lending reform. Ohio has the highest costs in the country with the typical loan APR close to 600%.

This week following the resignation of House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger over an FBI investigation with ties to payday lending lobbyists and lavish international trips, HB123, which has been in the house for over a year and would create meaningful payday lending reform, came up for a hearing in the House Government Accountability & Oversight Committee.

A compromise amendment with support of house leader Kirk Schuring and the bill’s bipartisan sponsors was expected to be voted quickly out of committee. The amendment would close the Credit Service Organization (CSO) loophole, includes a six-month minimum loan term with no early payment penalty and a 50% limit on the total costs and, although not perfect, would lead to dramatically lower costs than today. Payday lender lobbyists vigorously opposed the amendment and exerted tremendous pressure to stop a vote on HB123 from happening.

Your voice is needed more than ever.

Call your representatives at the statehouse today and demand that they pass payday lending reform now to protect people, not predators.

Here’s a proposed phone script:

Payday loan borrowers in Ohio need relief now. Pass HB123 out of the House immediately (if necessary, with friendly amendments from bipartisan co-sponsors Reps. Koehler and Ashford). The bill is a compromise that keeps credit available. It is critical that Ohio closes the CSO loophole, reins in the exorbitant prices and gives borrowers enough time to repay. Payday lenders and their lobbyists are doing everything they can to stop real reform from moving forward. Protect people, not predators.

Check out the latest coverage of the developing story in The Columbus Dispatch and Statehouse News Bureau.

For a quick read on what happened at the Statehouse, read and retweet Brent Larkin’s fiery column that ran in The Plain Dealer or the Akron Beacon Journal‘s editorial.

Please share this email. Now is the time to enact reform and for the legislature to represent people, not payday predators!

Thank you for your advocacy,
Nate Coffman
Executive Director
Ohio CDC Association