ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Legislation designed to protect borrowers from falling further into debt to payday lenders fell short of winning final approval as Minnesota lawmakers ended their session Friday.
The Senate had voted 37 to 25 to send a bill to the House, which had earlier adopted a different version. But the session concluded before lawmakers could craft a common proposal, meaning advocates will have to wait until next year.
Payday loans are short-term loans typically made without checking the borrower’s credit or ability to pay. Instead, the lender gets the right to withdraw the money from the borrower’s bank account the next time the borrower will have the money to pay it back. If the borrower can’t, the lender lets the borrower pay the debt by taking out another short-term loan.
The measure sponsored by Sen. Jeff Hayden, DFL-Minneapolis, would have limited borrowers to 10 loans a year and requires lenders to check whether the borrower already is overextended. The proposal also requires lenders to determine whether the borrower is a member of the military. If so, the annual percentage rate would have been capped at 36 percent.
“This is going to help folks get out of the debt trap,” Hayden said.
Opponents said the bill would simply push people in debt to unregulated and dangerous sources of quick cash, such as Internet sources or old-school loan sharks.
“That’s a problem with this bill,” said Sen. David Brown, R-Becker. “It’d be better if people could get loans from state-regulated lenders.”
Gov. Mark Dayton urged lawmakers earlier this week to pass the bill.
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