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Pa. Senate panel Hears Testimony About Proposed Payday Lending Law

A controversial bill that would create a friendlier environment for payday lenders to take up residence in Pennsylvania is vying for Senate action this fall.

The state Senate Banking and Insurance Committee held a hearing on HB 2191, which would establish regulations on short-term lenders that would make it more profitable to do business here than the current payday lending law allows.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Chris Ross, R-Chester, passed the House in June by a mostly party-line 102-90 vote. It would set the maximum finance charge that could be assessed on borrowers at $12.50 for every $100 borrowed, plus a $5 fee.


Opponents, however, see it as a debt trap. They point to research that shows only 2 percent of people use payday loans for unexpected expenses that proponents mention as to why the short-term loans are necessary.

They pointed to a study by The Pew Charitable Trusts that found 69 percent of first-time borrowers used the money to cover recurring expenses.

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