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Tuesday, October 16, 2012 - 11:20am

Olens To Feds: Stay Out Of Payday Lending

State Attorney General Sam Olens has joined 40 other state attorneys general in asking Congress not to pass federal legislation regarding payday lending. He says it is an issue of states’ rights.

In 2004, Georgia passed a law banning lenders from charging over 60 percent interest on loans of three thousand dollars or less.

Those loans are attractive to people struggling to make their paychecks last to the end of the month. Olens says Georgia’s law works, and the feds shouldn’t step in.

State Solicitor General Nels Peterson says Georgia already has an effective law against such predatory loans.

He says “It’s not a question of what should the law be. It’s a question of who should make the law. And in this case, the states have made the law. The states’ laws work well. And the federal government shouldn’t come in and take it over.”

Ed Williams is with Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Middle Georgia. He says the non-profit has seen a significant drop in clients victimized by payday lending and Georgia doesn’t need a federal law.

He says “I love anytime somebody is looking at legislation aimed at helping consumers, but the flip side is I always wince a little bit with the old saying about ‘well the government’s here to help you.’”

Williams says payday lending appears to be a bigger problem on the internet.

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