Monday, April 26, 2010

Regulating payday lenders

Wisconsin lawmakers agreed Thursday to regulate the payday lending industry for the first time and take steps to turn around the most troubled public schools.

The measures won final approval in the Assembly late Thursday and were headed to Gov. Jim Doyle as lawmakers wrapped up the legislative session that began in January 2009. Not winning approval were measures to promote the use of renewable energy, to deregulate the landline telephone industry or to overhaul Wisconsin voting laws.

The regulations on stores that offer payday and auto title loans came after years of debate and intense lobbying by the industry. Wisconsin had been the only state not to regulate the industry, which consumer advocates said allowed its rapid growth and trapped too many borrowers who take out short term paycheck loans with high interest rates in a cycle of debt.

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