Check Into Cash
Besides box cutters, Vignali, Hugh Rodham and the Lakers lousy 2005 season, The Mayor of Poop is now blaming Tony Villar for payday loans. Boy, I'd hate to see the Mayor's Lexis-Nexis bills for all the crap he's digging up. Then again, maybe Laura Chick wants to see them.
MAYOR HAHN ANNOUNCES POLICY TO CRACK DOWN ON PAYDAY LOAN INDUSTRY
VILLARAIGOSA HELPED CREATE IN CALIFORNIA
LOS ANGELES – Mayor Hahn today announced a policy to crack down on
payday loan companies which have been preying on low-income and
minority consumers in California since they were legalized by former
Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa and the Sacramento Legislature in 1996.
The payday loan industry did $40 billion in business in 2003, and
generated an extra $6 billion in finance charges alone. Mayor Hahn's
policy will toughen zoning restrictions to make it more difficult for
these companies to do business in Los Angeles, putting the full weight
of the Mayor's office into stopping their rapid growth. There are now
more than 2,100 licensed payday lenders in California, over 250 of
which are in the City of Los Angeles. According to a recent study, 60
percent of African-Americans and 49 percent of Latinos in California
live within a mile of a payday loan company.
Villaraigosa voted to legalize payday lending in 1996. That bill was
opposed by the Consumers Union, which argued that "Particularly
vulnerable consumers need special protection precisely because they
are desperate and willing to accept almost any terms that are
offered." Payday lenders in California are currently allowed to charge
a fee of up to $15 per $100 borrowed, an interest rate of 911 percent
on a one-week loan.
Jean Ann Fox, Director of Consumer Protection for the Consumer
Federation of America, said in 1998, "The payday loan industry is the
modern-day equivalent of 'loan-sharking.'"
According to Center for Responsible Lending senior policy associate
Susan Lupton: "It's legalized loan-sharking. It's throwing an anvil to
someone who needs a life preserver."
As Speaker and Speaker Emeritus, Villaraigosa also opposed efforts by
consumer advocates to reform the payday loan industry. During that
time, he raised over $17,000 from the payday lenders for his political
campaigns, including his 2001 campaign for mayor.
"When he had the chance to lead, Antonio Villaraigosa failed to stand
up for consumers," Mayor Hahn said. "Instead of protecting low-income
Californians, minorities and seniors, he opened them up to payday loan
sharks whose sole goal is to rip them off."
"The sad fact is, thanks to Antonio Villaraigosa's efforts, there are
more payday loan companies today in California than McDonalds and
Burger Kings combined. That's why I'm going crack down on these
companies. We need to make sure they can't set up shop in our
neighborhoods and take advantage of the neediest among us."
California passed a law in 2002, supported by consumer groups, to
increase the regulation of payday loan companies. But Mayor Hahn said
that was only a first step.
"California was one of the first states to legalize payday
loan-sharking," Mayor Hahn said. "I don't want it to be the last to
get them out of our neighborhoods. 14 states ban payday loan
companies, including New York. We need to make that kind of commitment
to protect the most vulnerable consumers here in L.A. and across our