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Government & Politics

Frustrated Payday-Lending Opponents Hope to Take the Issue to Voters

photo of Loanmax building
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

A citizens group is moving forward with its attempt to put a measure on the Ohio ballot that would crack down on payday lending. They say they’re tired of waiting for state lawmakers, who are still struggling to pick a speaker so they can act on the bill.

The delayed vote on a new speaker stalled the payday-lending crackdown, which was supposed to be on the House floor last week. So Nate Coffman with Ohioans for Payday Loan Reform says they’re going to take their issue to the voters.

“We are operating under the assumption that there’s not going to be meaningful reform passed by the Legislature,” he said.

The Ohio Consumer Lenders Association says the bill would force storefronts to close and cut off access to loans. But opponents argue that the industry has been preying on people in need and charging them interest rates of up to 591 percent APR.

The initiative must now be approved by the ballot board before Coffman’s group can collect the more than 300,000 signatures it needs to make the ballot next year.