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Cash Store Financial Obtains Stay Extension and Additional DIP Financing

EDMONTON , Sept. 30, 2014 /CNW/ – The Cash Store Financial Services Inc. (“Cash Store Financial” or the “Company”) announces that it has obtained an order from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice (Commercial List) (“the Court”) granting a stay extension under its current Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (“CCAA”) proceedings to November 28, 2014 .

The Court also authorized the Company and its subsidiaries to enter into a further amendment to its amended and restated debtor-in-possession (“DIP”) financing agreement (“Further Amended DIP Agreement”) pursuant to which an additional loan in the aggregate amount of $5 million will be available to the Company. In addition, the Further Amended DIP Agreement permits the Company to use $1.3 million of tax refunds to fund operations, rather than to make an immediate repayment to the DIP lenders. The amounts made available under the Further Amended DIP Facility are required in order to continue going concern operations and attempt to complete a sale of the Company’s business pursuant to the Court-approved Sale Process, under which prospective purchasers have had the opportunity to submit a bid for the Company’s property.

Discussions and negotiations with potential bidders are ongoing under the Sales Process. The Further Amended DIP Agreement will provide the necessary liquidity throughout the stay extension to continue to negotiate a sale transaction to achieve a value maximizing going concern outcome.

The Court also today approved the Ninth Report of the Monitor, FTI Consulting Canada Inc., dated August 6, 2014 . A copy of this report, as well as other orders of the Court, including details on the sales process, as well as other details regarding the Company’s CCAA proceedings is available on the Monitor’s website at http://cfcanada.fticonsulting.com/cashstorefinancial.

Cash Store Financial remains open for business and will continue to provide updates on its restructuring and the Cash Store Sale Process as matters advance.

About Cash Store Financial

Cash Store Financial and Instaloans primarily act as lenders to facilitate short-term advances and provide other financial services to income-earning consumers who may not be able to obtain them from traditional banks. Cash Store Financial also provides private-label debit cards.

Cash Store Financial is a Canadian corporation that is not affiliated with Cottonwood Financial Ltd. or the outlets Cottonwood Financial Ltd. operates in the United States under the name “Cash Store”. Cash Store Financial does not do business under the name “Cash Store” in the United States and does not own or provide any consumer lending services in the United States .

Forward Looking Statements:
This news release contains certain forward-looking statements about the objectives, strategies, financial conditions, results of operations and businesses of Cash Store Financial. Statements that are not historical facts are forward-looking and are subject to important risks, uncertainties and assumptions. These statements are based on our current expectations about our business, and upon various estimates and assumptions. The results or events predicted in these forward-looking statements may differ materially from actual results or events if known or unknown risks, trends or uncertainties affect our business, or if our estimates or assumptions turn out to be inaccurate. As a result, there is no assurance that the circumstances described in any forward-looking statement will materialize. Significant and reasonably foreseeable factors that could cause our results to differ materially from our current expectations, include, but are not limited to, any decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in the CCAA proceedings that is adverse to Cash Store Financial, the inability of Cash Store Financial to fulfill the conditions to funding under any Debtor-in-Possession (“DIP”) financing agreement entered into by Cash Store Financial, and other factors that could affect Cash Store Financial’s ability to continue its operations during the CCAA proceeding, including the factors that are discussed in the section entitled “Risk Factors” contained in our Annual Information Form for the year ended September 30, 2013 dated December 11, 2013 filed by The Cash Store Financial with the Canadian securities commissions (available on SEDAR at http://www.sedar.com), as updated in our most recent Management’s Discussion and Analysis for the three months ended December 31, 2013 . Unless required by law, we disclaim any intention or obligation to update any forward-looking statement even if new information becomes available, as a result of future events or for any other reason.

SOURCE The Cash Store Financial Services Inc.

View photo.FinanceInvestment & Company Information Contact: William Aziz, Chief Restructuring Officer, baziz@bluetreeadvisors.com; Media: Joel Shaffer, Longview Communications, 416-649-8006 […]

Jesse's Café Américain: John Oliver on the US Payday Loans Industry

Image loanshark.jpg


“Are there no prisons?”
“Plenty of prisons…”
“And the Union workhouses.” demanded Scrooge. “Are they still in operation?”
“Both very busy, sir…”
“Those who are badly off must go there.”
“Many can’t go there; and many would rather die.”
“If they would rather die,” said Scrooge, “they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”

Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

Usury is the practice of making unethical or immoral monetary loans intended to unfairly enrich the lender on the desperation or misfortune of others. (cf. unethically high drug charges promoted by patent protection). A loan may be considered usurious because of excessive or abusive interest rates or other factors. Someone who charges usury can be called an usurer, but the more common term in English is loan shark.

This video by John Oliver below discusses the payday loan industry in the US, which is remarkable even by today’s lax moral standards when it comes to financial matters.

If not for the corruption of big money, outlandish fees from banks and usurious rates of interest from private financial companies could be stopped, and quickly.

Part of the problem is the attraction that some in the US have with the romantic notion of naturally good ‘free markets’ unencumbered by the means of protecting the weak and desperate from the stronger and unscrupulous.

People are not naturally good nor perfectly rational in all their affairs. And just because someone wears a suit and carries a pen and a high powered law firm instead of a gun does not mean that they are not a criminal in the truest sense of the word.

And the manner in which we are continually given corporations higher regard, more privileges, and more and more power over the individual is a sickness of our souls. It is a portion of the worship of money and power above all else.

But Jesse, who is to say what the appropriate level of interest should be?

We have appointed regulators to do so, and there are certainly people more qualified as subject matter experts to do it.

But I would certainly tend to favor a Federal law that stipulates that no loan can charge more than 20 percent in annualized interest and fees in any 365 day period, or 1000 basis points over the Fed funds rate, whichever is higher, for any loan for any consumer loan as defined by the Consumer Protection Bureau.

And as for “States Rights” to do whatever they please, one could justify the minimal protection provided to the people among the various states under the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution. If the corruption in a state authorized murder, slavery, child prostitution, drug addiction, mercy killings, sterilization, or torture, we would certainly not hesitate to assert the priority of the Bill of Rights for all citizens no matter where they lived.

Just because it is money that is involved does not mean that the injustice cannot be as serious an abuse to the public interest, to an individual or a family, even though one can assert that no one made them take the loan, or buy the drugs, or born handicapped, or fallen gravely ill. Public policy need to reflect the moral principles of a people at their most fundamental levels, or the government has no legitimate claim to be founded of, by, or for the people.

[…]

Driven To Debt: The Catch With Title Loan Companies

GREENVILLE, S.C. –

They promise quick, easy cash. In most cases, all you need is a car title. But the interest rates will shock you.

With words like “max”, “cash” and “quick” on the signs, it’s an enticing offer. Trade in your car title for money. Pay the loan back and you get your title back. There’s often no credit check involved. You don’t even need a bank account.

Tony Williams says it was easy and he was desperate.

“They just ask what your income is, and whatever you tell them is what they go by,” said Tony.

Here’s the catch. The annual percentage rate on his loan is 360%. So, of the $715 dollars he and his wife borrowed, they’ll end up paying back nearly four times that amount, unless they’re able to pay it off sooner.

If they don’t, their car gets repossessed.

“It’s like you’re caught in a revolving door and you can’t get out,” said Tony.

South Carolina is one of only 21 states that allows car title loans. A loophole in state law allows lenders to charge up to a 400% APR.

Here’s how: State law has a cap on interest rates for small loans of $600 or less. In our research, we found many of these lenders write the loans just over that amount, for $601 or more.

None of the lenders we called would give us their rates over the phone. By law they have to post that information in the office, so we went to them.

At Max Cash Title Loan in Spartanburg, the max APR was listed as up to 396%. At North American Title Loans, it was 372%.

Sue Berkowitz of the SC Appleseed Legal Justice Center fights for the interests of low income families. She says these loans end up costing all of us.

“When somebody is paying hundreds, 400% interest rate, that’s money they may not have to pay their rent. That’s money they may not have to pay their utilities. It’s money they may not have to pay for food,” said Berkowitz. “So it does impact all of us.”

She explains those people then have to rely on community organizations for help paying those other bills. Berkowitz says the change has to come from lawmakers.

We took the issue to two Upstate senators for answers, who sit on the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee. That committee has the power to at least start to make changes.

Senator Glenn Reese said he would be for regulating these types of loans. We asked him what it would take for him to propose such legislation.

“We need to probably get a rash of complaints and then put some people in a room and get some kind of group together to figure out what needs to be addressed. And then try to draft some legislation that would address the problem,” said Sen. Reese.

Senator Lee Bright disagrees with Reese.

“It’s a situation where the free market usually works. And you’d think folks would shop to get better rates for loans,” said Sen. Bright. “I think that’s more of an indictment on our education system if people don’t actually think that they should read a contract before they enter a loan agreement.”

The several lawmakers we spoke with all told us, a title loan bill hasn’t been brought up in recent years because they haven’t gotten any complaints. They urge their constituents to call them directly if they have an issue with car title loans.

To contact the state lawmaker in your area, click here.

We also called, went by in person and emailed several car title loan companies for comment, including the ones mentioned in the story. All of them referred us to their corporate offices. We have not heard back.

While car title loans are meant to be short term, many borrowers can’t afford to pay off the loan amount in the first 30 days and end up renewing the loan multiple times.

If you have to get a title loan, make sure they don’t just give you the monthly percentage rate. Request the annual rate so you fully grasp what you’re getting into. Here’s an example: A monthly rate of 25% equals a 300% APR.

[…]

Grassroots Campaign Helps End Bank's Payday Lending | EQUAL …

Image national-people-action_logo.jpg


Grassroots Campaign Helps End Bank’s Payday Lending

January 28, 2014 | Filed under: Archive,Communities,Community Briefs,Midwest |

National People’s Action

In the wake of a months-long campaign by community groups, Regions Financial Corp. announced the discontinuation of its “Direct Deposit Advance” payday lending product.

Community groups, including organizations in Missouri, Illinois, Iowa and Alabama, had argued these loans were predatory, believing that Regions Bank was taking advantage of its own struggling depositors.

The loans would allow a consumer to take an advance on government benefits and paychecks. They often came with very high interest rates – typically $10 on a $100 loan – and balloon payments that trapped consumers in a cycle of debt. One study showed that borrowers who used these products would often take out loan after loan – as many as 10 a year, with fees topping $458.

“We need banks to help families build wealth, not strip it away,” George Goehl, executive director of National People’s Action (NPA), said in a statement. “That is why this announcement is a victory for consumers of Regions Bank and Americans who are feeling the pinch of rising inequality.”

The decision by the Alabama-based bank follows similar decisions by other banks to discontinue their payday lending programs.

NPA, along with Illinois People’s Action, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, Grass Roots Organizing Missouri and others, had been campaigning for the change since last year. In November, they delivered petitions with 12,000 signatures to Regions Bank branches. They mounted an online campaign, as well, asking consumers across the country to tweet about the issue. In addition, they ran an online banner ad campaign that generated 1.5 million impressions.

While NPA says the announcement, which was made during the week of Jan. 13, is a positive step, it plans to continue pushing the Federal Reserve to issue guidelines that put an end to the practice.

National People’s Action is a network of grassroots organizations that works on economic and racial justice issues.

[…]

Payday loan companies 'should face levy to fund debt advice …

Image Payday-loans-011.jpg

A report by the Low commission suggests imposing a levy on payday loan companies. Photograph: Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters

A levy should be imposed on payday loan companies to help fund debt advisory services, according to an independent inquiry into cuts in legal aid for social welfare cases.

The Low commission, which has been considering evidence from law centres, MPs, lawyers and others for the past year, calls for the creation of a £100m-a-year fund to pay for local advice services across England and Wales.

Most of the funding should come from the government and the Big Lottery Fund, the commission report argues, but some should also come from payday loan companies. It states: “The Financial Conduct Authority should use its powers under the legislation to impose a levy on payday loan companies to fund debt advice services when they take over the regulation of payday loan companies from the Office of Fair Trading in April 2014.”

The commission was headed by Lord Low, an expert in disability law who is vice-president of the Royal National Institute of Blind People. It calls for the restoration of legal aid for housing cases.

The commission heard evidence from one MP who said that since the last round of cuts in legal aid, MPs’ surgeries had become the first port of call for desperate constituents seeking legal advice. It was also told that judges were asking for fewer cases to be listed in court each day, to allow extra time to deal with the growing number of people having to represent themselves in complex welfare cases.

Low, who chaired the commission, said: “Our report makes sobering reading and we are calling on political parties of all stripes to recognise the need to act before we reach crisis point. All around the country we found advice agencies buckling under the strain, and ordinary people left with nowhere to turn.”

Amanda Finlay, commission vice-chair and former legal services strategy director at the Ministry of Justice, said: “In these days of austerity, we realise hard choices have to be made. But just cutting legal aid is not the answer. The problems still remain. We should follow the example of other countries which have reduced legal aid but recognised that help is still required, and invest in better information, advice and support.”

The report’s foreword has been written by Lord Justice Woolf, a former lord chief justice. “One of the most difficult and persistent problems facing any society,” Woolf said, is how it meets “the responsibility to ensure that its members who are least able to protect themselves are provided with the assistance that they require to cope with the challenges with which they are inevitably faced.

“This is particularly difficult to achieve when a nation, like our own, is seeking at the same time to deal with acute financial difficulties requiring the imposition of stringent controls, including cuts, on public spending across the board.”

To compensate for legal aid losses, the Cabinet Office and the Big Lottery Fund have already made £67m available over two years in transitional funding for advice centres.

The shadow justice minister Andy Slaughter said: “Lord Low and his commission have done a thorough and persuasive job in analysing the catastrophic effects of the coalition’s near-total destruction of social welfare legal aid. The fact that major advice agencies like Shelter and CAB [Citizens Advice Bureau] are able to answer less than half of the vastly increased numbers of inquiries from people in desperate need shows the impact of the cuts, which Labour predicted during the passage of the Laspo [legal aid, sentencing and punishment of offenders] bill. The Liberal Democrats must bear much of the responsibility for passing this regressive and divisive legislation.

“The commission has done a great service to the advice sector and come up with radical plans for reform which we will take very seriously in government. They are realistic in not asking for a restoration of cuts made, but look for better ways to prevent social problems like debt, eviction and poverty and seek to make those, like payday lenders, who exploit vulnerable people, contribute to renewed social welfare support.”

Matthew Smerdon, chief executive of the charity the Legal Education Foundation, said: “The Low commission report comes at a crucial time and we need to ensure that it sparks the discussions and actions needed to ensure people have access to and understand how the law can protect and help them. Too often the funding for legal support that still exists is only made available at crisis point.”

[…]

Payday lending bulletin | Texas District & County Attorneys Association

Posted: Thursday, October 31, 2013

We have been asked by State Rep. Mike Villarreal (D-San Antonio), chairman of the House Committee on Investments and Financial Services, to notify prosecutors of a recent advisory bulletin issued by the Office of the Consumer Credit Commissioner (OCCC) regarding payday lending. Specifically, the agency is warning payday lenders against using a prosecutor’s hot-check division “simply as a means for collecting on delinquent loans,” especially those secured by post-dated checks from the consumer/borrower. These lenders’ (alleged mis-)use of the criminal justice system was highlighted in an expose earlier this summer that should serve as a warning to unsuspecting hot-check divisions. Fortunately, you now have a statement from the state agency regulating these businesses that will back you up if you decline to pursue charges.

1 of 173 next […]

Payday loans are debt trap in disguise | theGrio

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Are payday loans a good source of emergency cash? Thanks to misleading marketing, many of its consumers unfortunately think so.

“Payday lending stores are opening their doors in low-income neighborhoods at a rate equal to Starbucks [opening its doors] in affluent ones,” states NAACP Chairman Emeritus Julian Bond to illustrate how payday lenders are rapidly sinking their roots into our communities.

Many payday loans trap consumers by encouraging them to repeatedly pay high fees for borrowing small amounts of money. The average loan size is $375; but borrowers end up paying about $520 in interest. And repeat borrowers, many who secure an additional loan to pay back their previous loan, account for 91 percent of all payday loans per year.

Single mothers, African-Americans and Latinos are overwhelmingly targets for payday loans, according to studies by FDIC and CFSI.

Mass predatory lending products and deceitful financial practices contributed to the 2007 financial crisis. However, with foreclosures being the focal point of the crisis, payday lending has not been discussed as prominently– until now.

Payday lending’s economic impact cannot be understated as it drains the economy significantly. A recent study by the Insight Center shows that in 2011, payday loans cost the U.S. economy nearly one billion dollars and thousands of jobs. Payday loans reduce household spending by taking away money that consumers could spend on businesses, which in turn fuels business growth and job creation.

Consumer advocates, along with state and local governments, are initiating efforts to protect consumers from these types of “debt traps” in disguise. The Obama Administration established the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to help protect consumers from the disastrous financial products on Wall Street that financed and contributed to the greatest losses of wealth for the average American in modern history.

Recently, the CFPB released their initial findings on payday loans. Their report found that these loans are not used regularly for emergency cash – which could be easily paid back in a short period of time – but rather by those who do not have enough income to meet their regular expenses. The study concludes, “These loans raise substantial consumer protection concerns.”

This study proves that small dollar high-cost lending is predatory and unfairly targets the economically weakest members of our community. They exploit consumers’ inability to meet their regular financial obligations while stripping wealth from segments of our society that can ill afford it.

Financial institutions, including Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), have joined the CFPB in cracking down on the banks it oversees by issuing guidelines on their payday products called deposit advance loans. These guidelines require banks to better assess the customer’s financial capability to pay back a loan so the consumer can better avoid being caught in a debt trap. They also require that each deposit advance loan be repaid in full before issuing another deposit advance loan; and that banks cannot offer more than one loan per monthly statement cycle.

At the NAACP, we engage the community around predatory payday lending by connecting NAACP state and local units with CFPB national field hearings and representatives and hosting fair lending workshops nationwide to inform consumers of how to beware of these debt traps.

Whether payday loans are dispersed through storefronts or well-respected financial institutions, accountability is key. We are encouraged that government agencies, along with other consumer advocacy groups, are moving on all fronts to protect our communities from economic exploitation. Economic empowerment and justice are at the root of advancing racial equity. And we must eliminate barriers to economic justice like predatory payday lending, which weakens the economies of so many Americans.

Dedrick Muhammad is the Sr. Director of the NAACP Economic Department and Charles Lowery is the NAACP Director of Fair Lending.

[…]

Loan sharks held in dawn raid

TOPICS

Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram

crime, law and justice

corporate crime

police

22 premises searched; cash, documents seized

The city police on Wednesday raided the residence of underworld-linked businessmen who lent money at usurious rates of interest and employed violence to get it back.

City Police Commissioner P. Vijayan ordered the dawn raids, which were conducted almost simultaneously at 22 sites, including those in posh residential areas, luxury flats, and slum colonies.

The special drive, code-named ‘Operation Blade’ resulted in the arrest of eight suspected loan sharks, including two alleged gangsters, Goondukadu Shabu and Puthenpalam Rajesh.

The police recovered Rs.20 lakh in cash from them and seized hundreds of signed blank cheques, promissory notes, stamp papers, and land deeds, documents the accused had received as surety from their clients.

The police said the accused often charged an interest of up to Rs.1,000 a day on a loan of Rs.1 lakh, which meant an annual interest rate of 360 per cent.

Clients

Their clients ranged from citizens seeking urgent cash for treatment and weddings to real estate businessmen, migrant labour suppliers, wholesale perishable goods vendors and those profiting from illegal businesses.

The police said the accused, in a bid to fox the law, often forced their clients to sign land sale agreements to show, on the face of it, that the loans they had extended were actually genuine cash advances for the properties of the borrowers.

Most moneylenders kept their transactions secret and rarely registered or advertised their businesses to avoid taxes and legal scrutiny.

Some of the accused extended collateral-free “meter” loans, where interest is charged by the hour, and used their henchmen to retrieve it from defaulters.

The multi-crore racket has taken a heavy toll on urban society. It has fuelled crime, impoverished families, and driven many to suicide.

The accused were booked on the charges of cheating, forgery, and violating the Kerala Moneylenders Act. They will be produced before the court on Thursday. Assistant Commissioners of Police Reji Jacob, P. Biju, K. Vimal, and Circle Inspector Pramod Kumar coordinated the operation.

Keywords: Thiruvananthapuram police, Police raids, Operation Blade, Loan sharks

More In:

Thiruvananthapuram

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[…]

Loan sharks cut deep into society

TOPICS

Kerala

Thiruvananthapuram

crime, law and justice

crime

macro economics

loans

police

arrest

In 2012, hard-pressed for cash, a Central government employee at the International Airport here borrowed Rs.3 lakh from a ‘blade’, local phraseology for loan sharks who lend money at usurious rates of interest and often use violence to recover it.

In the next 12 months, he took more loans and pawned his wife’s jewellery and paid the money lender several times the original amount. Often his monthly remittance to the ‘blade’ touched Rs.28,000. Still the money lender did not consider the loan closed and sent his goons to harass the man at his office and home. Last week, the moneylender’s goons trespassed into his house and threatened his wife and daughter. He lodged a complaint at the Thampanoor police station, which resulted in the arrest of three moneylenders in the city.

Circle Inspector, Sheen Tharayil, identified the accused as Vellayani Murukan, 55, and his business associates, Kadakampally Prakash, 38, and Ambalakunnil Vadivel, 40.

The police said a special drive against loan sharks was under way in the Fort Sub Division headed by Assistant Commissioner, K. S. Suresh.

Documents seized in earlier raids from moneylenders showed that they often charged an interest of up to Rs.1,000 a day on a loan of Rs.1 lakh, an annual interest rate of 360 per cent. Their clients ranged from the common man seeking urgent cash for treatment or conduct of social ceremonies such as weddings and funerals to those profiting from legal and illegal businesses.

The moneylenders often asked their clients to submit signed blank cheques, (preferably those issued in the name of their wives for easy coercion), promissory notes, stamp papers, and land deeds, as surety. In addition, they forced them to sign land sale agreements to show on record that the loan was actually an advance for the borrower’s property.

Most moneylenders kept their transactions secret and rarely registered or advertised their businesses to avoid taxes and legal scrutiny.

Early this year, the police had arrested four of their own men on the charge of running an underworld-linked money lending operation in the city. They had extended collateral-free “meter” loans, where interest is charged by the hour, and used their office and underworld contacts to make borrowers pay up.

So, far the racket has taken a heavy toll on urban society. It has fuelled crime, impoverished families, and driven many to suicide.

Keywords: Kerala loan rackets, moneylending business, usury,

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Loan sharks in troubled waters

Illegal moneylenders now eye the Gulf

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Thiruvananthapuram

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[…]

Organizations take on payday lending with education and options …

BILOXI — A center for justice and a community foundation have joined forces to promote options and solutions for people who seek emergency, short-term payday loans and then get trapped in a cycle of debt.

“The issue cuts to the heart of family security and economic stability,” said the Mississippi Center for Justice’s Paheadra Robinson, who met with the Sun Herald last week.

The Gulf Coast Community Foundation’s Lauren Williams told the Sun Herald, “I was absolutely astounded to know statically what the ramifications of payday lending are for our state.”

Williams said that when first approached with the information, “I thought, ‘How could I not know this?'”

Payday loans, usually in the $200 to $300 range, must be paid back within a few weeks. Those who get them are required to have a source of income and a checking account, but not good credit.

But most won’t be able to pay back the loan on the first try and often take out another loan to pay off the first. Each time the loan is flipped, there’s a fee.

“It turns into a long-term debt for what you thought was a short-term solution,” Robinson said. On the average in Mississippi, it takes

nine loans to pay off the original balance or roughly six months.

That’s why Williams and Robinson, with their respective organizations, are working on a program to offer South Mississippi solutions — to help people find alternative ways to get money when they have an emergency or a special need.

Through a $50,000 grant from the Knight Foundation, matched by $50,000 from their organizations and others, including banks and credit unions, they began in October a program of education and encouragement.

So many feel they can’t get a loan any other way, Robinson said.

With education, the program outlines to the community at large the pitfalls of taking out payday loans and explain what banks have to offer.

It also is encouraging banks to offer more small, short-term loans and trying to get employers involved more in assisting employees.

The issue comes before the Legislature perennially, some suggesting a rate cap, but little has happened to curb the business.

With fees and high interest, the annual percentage rate of a payday loan can exceed 500 percent.

And the industry made more than $303 million in Mississippi in 2010, she said.

There’s no database in the state, she said, but they believe as many as 400,000 have used them.

The military curtailed usage when it limited quick loans to a 36 percent interest.

Then the FDIC took action to encourage banks, she said.

“In the past, banks were unwilling to take the risk of lending to these people,” Robinson said.

BankPlus has a program, she said, and three others are developing them. So far the default rate is 5 percent, close to the rate for other types of loans.

She said the industry targets the working poor and are three times more likely to be found in a minority neighborhood.

The program has a counseling component, so borrowers also can learn their rights when dealing with payday lenders.

“You can’t out-market them,” she said. And payday lenders have a way of delivering a personal touch to encourage borrowers to continue borrowing.

[…]