Friday, January 21, 2011

Reining in payday and car title loans go down in flames

Who let these leaches in the door anyway? The bloodsuckers preying off of society’s desperate.

It was Governor Mark Warner who signed into law the Payday Loan Act in 2002.

According to a 2008 Washington Post article Kevin Hall, a Warner spokesman, said. “Governor Warner is pleased to see the legislature moving forward on additional legislation and would be supportive of a cap that is fair to working people.”

Here we are in 2011 still trying to “cap” these maggots. These predators once they get their lobby cranked up and the contributions rolling in – there is no stopping them.

It’s like trying to peel off leaches one at a time while buckets of them clamp on. The leaches come bearing gifts. It just feels so good as they slither up to suck all moral conscience from Virginia legislators.

Roanoke’s Senator John Edwards engaged me a couple years ago when I chastised him for supporting payday loans. He said Delegate Onzlee Ware had convinced him they were needed. The needy were those living paycheck to paycheck who floundered with unexpected expenses.

Edwards has been trying to rein in these unleashed parasites every since.

Every year there is a new loophole to close. Quietly this session legislators are still trying to cap car title loan maggots at 36% and rein in payday fees and charges.

Two bills failed to report out of the Senate’s Commerce and Labor committee. The vote was (4Y-10N) on both SB751 and SB752. Both bills were patroned by Hampton Democrat Mamie Locke.

The first attempted to cap motor vehicle title loans at 36% annually. The interest cap on car title loans is 22% per month on the first $700, 18% on subsequent loan balance to $1400 and 15% that exceeds $1400.

Payday loans are capped at the annual rate of 36%. Senator Locke tried to eliminate “loan fees and other charges” that payday lenders can tack on at will. That attempt sank like a stone too.

House Bill 1441 is sitting in the House Committee on Commerce in Labor that also attempts to Caps the rate of interest that may be charged on motor vehicle title loans, payday loans, and open-end credit plans at 36 percent per year. The bill was introduced by Republican Glenn Oder of Newport News. It will probably just die a quiet death with no chance of passing the Senate.

The vote on both Senate Bills 751 and 752: YEAS–Edwards, Herring, McEachin, Deeds–4.

NAYS–Saslaw, Colgan, Wampler, Norment, Stosch, Watkins, Wagner, Newman, Puckett, Puller–10.

Democrat Dick Saslaw did introduce SB1367 that [gulp] allows car title lenders to make loans on vehicles registered in another state. The vote on that was 12-2 and passed successfully out of committee. (Edwared and McEachin were the only Nay votes this time.) UPDATE: Saslaw’s bill passed in this morning’s session.

Let’s just check the contributions of say Senator Dick Saslaw (Springfield). Not surprisingly Saslaw is the King of  payday and car title loan contributors. His bill might as well be a flashing arrow pointing to him that says “Get Your Car Title Loan Here!”

Check Into Cash of Virginia contributed to Saslaw a whopping $11,000 – Advance American contribution was $4000. Community Loans of America (car title) contribution $5000. Titlemax and Cashpoint for another $3500 each and LoanMax gave $5000 – a total of $32,000 at a quick glance. This was just for just 2010.

Check Into Cash contributed over $160,000 to candidates in the last five years. Community Loans $159,000, TitleMax $137,000, and Cashpoint $27,000. Sen. Saslaw is their favorite.

LoanMax is the clear winner at a whopping $760,000. The total given to candidates since 2004 with Saslaw topping their list.

Let’s face it the devil has purchased the hearts of elected officials. The demons are here to stay unless one day they have a sudden attack of religion. 

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Elections, Finance, Politics, State Politics

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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