Letter to the editor | Keep ‘payday’ lenders out

July 13, 2013 

Credit counselors call them predatory lenders who feed off low-income workers trying to make it to their next paychecks.

A Philadelphia consumer advocate calls the business “legalized loan sharking” — basically out-of-state mobsters without the funny nicknames.

Even former state Sen. Vince Fumo, who’s doing time in a federal prison on corruption charges, called them a “scam.” Seventeen states have outlawed them completely

But a posse of high-powered lobbyists is pushing legislation through Harrisburg — with the support of two Philadelphia Democrats — that would invite these short-term “payday” lenders into Pennsylvania, clearing the way for corner stores to dole out fast cash with interest and fees that are more than 15 times the state’s current limits.

House Republican leaders aren’t talking about who quietly inserted controversial language regarding payday loans into a 59-page budget-related bill as the General Assembly passed a flurry of bills last week before legislators left for their summer recess.

The inconspicuous paragraph, which was stripped out by the Senate on Wednesday before it voted on the fiscal code bill, is now delaying the state budget process.

Because the Senate removed the language, the fiscal code bill must be passed again by the House, which adjourned last week until Sept. 23.

Why is it that nobody can tell us who put the payday lending verbiage in the budget?

The whole situation stinks. It’s time that we all woke up and start to be more active in politics.

Those who represent us are not acting in our best interest.

John Mason

State College

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