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Stivers flip flops on payday lending

The Ohio Senate approved tough new regulations on Ohio’s payday lenders, bringing the state very close to ending the payday industry as it currently exists.

The approval of these new regulations in both the Ohio House and Senate is a direct result of a coordinated progressive grassroots effort. 245 non-profit, religious and civic organizations joined together in the Ohio Coalition for Responsible Lending to change public policy and educate the public and media about the impact of the 391% interest rates charged to many of Ohio poorest citizens.

Steve Stivers: for 391% interest rates before he was against them

Interestingly, Ohio State Senator Steve Stivers, former bank lobbyist and Republican running against Mary Jo Kilroy for Congress, was for 391% interest rates before he was against them. Only a few months ago, Stivers was repeating payday lending industry talking points.

Columbus Dispatch (Sept 30, 2007): Sen. Steve Stivers, R-Columbus -- Doesn't favor a 36-percent rate cap. "You can't take away people's ability to screw up their own financial situation by taking away the legal loan products, because they'll move to the illegal loans."

Amazing what a competitive election race will do. What's the chance Stivers' new-found conscience for the consumer will last beyond the election race?

John Michael Spinelli at ePluribus Media gives a political overview of what happened.

...Another key lawmaker, Sen. Steve Stivers, R-Columbus, running for a Congressional seat this fall and who is fighting to overcome his pedigree as a bank lobbyist turned lawmaker who sponsored major tort reform legislation that sided with industry over the interest of consumers, likely wanted an issue he could campaign on this fall that demonstrated his concern for coming to the defense of consumers.

One insider theorized that both Husted and Widener wanted to insulate themselves from the message editorial boards would have hit them with come election time had they backed the tweaked version of the bill the industry was lobbying for.

Widener was supporting the industry bill that would have kept the APR at 391 percent, but turned on a dime recently when Husted cracked the whip on him to introduce a stricter version of the bill.

What is former UA Council member Tim Rankin's stand on payday lending? Rankin is going after Ted Celeste's Ohio House seat -- and Ted long ago signed on to co-sponsor to the Batchelder-Hagan plan.

As Ted told to the Columbus Dispatch last year when it wasn't so popular to fight the payday loan industry: "We have to find a way to deal with interest rates and the debt trap."

And what about that industry talking point that Stivers repeated? University of North Carolina researchers concluded that absence of payday lending has had no significant impact on the availability of credit for households.


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