Representative J.D. Mesnard is wrong.
Arizonans do not want payday lenders’ “flex loans.”
In an opinion piece this week, Mesnard defended his bill to allow 204% debt trap loans in Arizona without ever mentioning the interest rate.
On the House floor, he even admitted that he has not had a single constituent say, “I need this bill.”
In 2008, millions of Arizona voters affirmed our current 36% annual interest rate cap. Nearly every year since, payday lenders have tried to overturn the voters’ will and our legislature has correctly rejected these shenanigans.
This year, dozens of groups – from AARP, Arizona Children’s Action Alliance, faith-based organizations and many others – vehemently opposed SB 1316, a back-door payday loan re-entry disguise.
After the House voted to approve these toxic loans, 45 Arizona faith leaders called on the Senate to reject these usurious and immoral lending practices.
When the vote on SB1316 came to the floor of the House, Republican and Democratic legislators acknowledged that questionable payday lenders’ alleged petitions supporting these high-rate loans might have included names of people who actually do not want loans that will cost $10,000 to pay back $2,500.
The only people who want 204% interest loans are out-of-state payday lenders and their lobbyists. Nobody else.
Cynthia Zwick is executive director of the Arizona Community Action Association