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    Entries in bank loans (5)

    Wednesday
    Nov092016

    Facing 652% Interest Rates, South Dakota Voters Regulate Payday Lending

    They joined the growing number of states that regulate the industry that critics say traps poor people in a cycle of debt.
    BY  NOVEMBER 9, 2016

    In South Dakota, where payday loan interest rates average a whopping 652 percent and are among the highest in the nation, voters have struck back by approving a 36 percent rate cap.

    With more than half of precincts reporting Tuesday night, results showed voters approved the move to regulate the industry by a margin of three to one. More than a dozen other states have enacted a similar cap on loan interest rates.

    Critics of the payday industry say lenders prey upon low-income borrowers who are unable to access financing from mainstream banks. These borrowers, they claim, easily get trapped in a cycle of debt. Payday lenders, however, argue that they fill a critical hole in the economy by allowing people with poor credit to get emergency loans.

    The push for the rate cap was led by South Dakotans for Responsible Lending, which also fended off a rival measure placed on the ballot more recently and backed by the payday lending industry. That measure proposed an 18 percent cap -- unless the borrower agreed to a higher rate. Opponents said the measure was intentionally misleading and would have essentially legalized sky-high interest rates for payday borrowers in South Dakota.

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    Saturday
    Oct082016

    The Week in Public Finance: Pensionomics, Hidden Bank Loans and Private Equity Fees

    BY  SEPTEMBER 16, 2016

    Do Pensions Help the Economy?

    A new study on how pensioners spend their money will likely give a boost to those who want to keep traditional, defined benefit pension plans in the public sector.

    Published this week by the nonprofit National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS), the analysis on pension retiree spending in 2014 estimates it resulted in $1.2 trillion in total economic output. The total is based on about a half-trillion in benefits paid to public and private pensioners in 2014. State and local pension benefits account for about half ($253 billion) of those benefits.

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    Wednesday
    Aug312016

    Like the Industry, Payday Loan Ballot Measures Mislead Voters

    In South Dakota, two seemingly identical initiatives in November would have vastly different outcomes for consumers' interest rates.
    BY  AUGUST 24, 2016

    Annual interest rates on payday loans in South Dakota are among the highest in the nation -- a whopping 652 percent on average. Yet the business is booming there with nearly 100 stores across the sparsely populated state.

    Critics of the industry say lenders prey upon low-income borrowers who are unable to access financing from mainstream banks. These borrowers, they claim, easily get trapped into a cycle of debt. Payday lenders, however, argue that they fill a critical hole in the economy by allowing people with poor credit to get emergency loans.

    South Dakota voters have the chance to regulate the industry in November. But two seemingly identical proposals that would have vastly different outcomes are complicating the effort to rein in high interest rate

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    Monday
    Apr182016

    Illinois May Target Predatory Lending to Small Businesses

    A first-in-the-nation bill would regulate loans made to small businesses by alternative lenders mostly found online.
    BY  APRIL 18, 2016

    Illinois could be the first state to regulate predatory lending to small businesses, an emerging threat that some have called the next credit crisis.

    The bill, SB 2865, targets many of the complaints that small business owners and researchers have made in recent years about loans made by online lenders and other non-traditional institutions. The legislation, which amends the Illinois Fairness in Lending Act, would require more transparency from lenders regarding the annual interest rate and terms applied to the loan.

    “Many of the so-called four D’s of predation -- deception, debt traps, debt spirals and discrimination -- stem from a lack of transparency,” Chicago Treasurer Kurt Summers told the state Senate's financial institutions committee last week. “Today in Illinois, a company selling timeshares for $100 a month is required to have more clearly articulated loan terms in their contracts than an online lender would for a $200,000 business loan.”

    The legislation, which the full Senate is now considering, would also set standards for making the loan, such as requiring lenders to consider a business owner’s ability to pay. Specifically, the measure would prohibit loans to a small business if the monthly loan payments would exceed 50 percent of the borrower’s net monthly revenue.

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    Friday
    Mar042016

    The Week in Public Finance: School Shutdowns, Trading Munis and Small Business Lending

    A roundup of money (and other) news governments can use.
    BY  MARCH 4, 2016

    Education Opens Closes Doors

    One of states' top spending items is education. When lawmakers can’t agree on a budget -- or they decide to make severe cuts -- higher education often gets hurt. Sometimes, even K-12 spending takes a hit. In Illinois and Pennsylvania, ongoing stalemates over the current fiscal year’s budget may lead to school closures. In Louisiana, potential major cuts have students protesting.

    Let’s start in Illinois, where three state universities have taken severe hits. Last Friday, Chicago State University sent layoff notices to all 900 of its employees. The school is making plans to end its semester early unless the state makes good on funding promises. That alarming news came after Western Illinois University announced it would cut $20 million from its budget over the next two years, while laying off 100 employees. Southern Illinois University is contemplating $40 million in cuts and has already started closing programs, such as men’s tennis and women’s golf. Most recently, Eastern Illinois University, which saw its credit rating downgraded to junk status last month, laid off nearly 200 employees, although the school president offered assurances that the university was not closing.

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