Cash advance limit may be lifted in Washington - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Cash advance limit may be lifted in Washington

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KENNEWICK - Consumer advocates and community groups across Washington are urging Washington State Senators to oppose a bill that would strip away consumer protection provisions from a predatory payday lending reform law.

SB 5547, sponsored by Sen. Margarita Prentice (D-Renton), would remove the yearly limit of eight loans that a payday lender can issue to one

Prentice is worried with a limit people will get pay day advance loans online and are therefore exposed to more debt and fraud.   Research from the non-partisan, non-profit Center for Responsible Lending concluded there is no evidence to suggest an increase in searches for online payday loans in Washington State after the loan cap's implementation. 

Marcy Bowers, the Interim Director for Statewide Poverty Action Network, an organization opposing SB 5547,  says she has no reason to believe online pay advances are currently a problem.  "Our big worry is that it will take a step backwards and put people back into a large cycle of debt caused by payday loans," says Bowers.

"Since it was enacted in January 2010, the new payday lending law has saved Washington families $122 million in exorbitant fees and
interest payments," says Bowers of the independent investigation conducted by the APPL coalition.

SB 5547 is currently in the Senate Rules Committee, just one step away from a vote on the Senate floor.