Lawmakers Consider Dueling Payday Loan Bills

May 3, 2017

Lawmakers in both chambers of Alabama’s legislature are debating changes to payday loans in the state.

Dueling bills in both the House and the Senate each aim to reform short-term lending in Alabama, but they go about it in different ways.

The House proposal, among other things, would institute a so-called “cooling off” period, where recent loan borrowers wouldn’t be allowed to take out another payday loan for 48 hours. The Senate bill would lengthen the minimum term for payday loans to 30 days, and would allow borrowers the chance to restructure the loans if they’re unable to pay them off.

Shay Farley is with the Southern Poverty Law Center. She supports the Senate bill, and says the House proposal doesn’t do enough to fix the real problems with short-term lending.

“It keeps the payday loans at 14 days, which is really the heart of the problem. The maximum number of loans that a borrower will get under the House version is 22 payday loans a year, which is just exploitive. We just don’t think that that is doable for a consumer.”

The Senate Banking and Insurance Committee will hear their version of the bill this morning. If it passes, it will advance to the Senate floor for debate tomorrow.