Capital Times Editorial
Wisconsin consumers need to thank Gov. Jim Doyle for taking the bull by the horns and reshaping the Legislature’s woefully weak attempt to regulate the payday lending industry in Wisconsin.
The governor used his veto to ban auto title loans that the payday lending industry has relied on to chain borrowers into long-term debt at exorbitant interest rates. Interestingly, the State Assembly banned securities lending, but the State Senate refused to accept it, and in the end the payday lending lobbyists won.
While we are not big fans of the veto power of the Wisconsin governors, this is an example where it was used to make up for the loopholes in the legislature, where too many representatives bowed to the money of the special interests that not only lobbies, but in the campaign coffers of several lawmakers.
Doyle deserves credit for standing up for the thousands of working poor and destitute among us who have fallen victim to an unscrupulous industry.
While payday lenders are still not subject to an interest rate limit in Wisconsin, Doyle’s reshuffle with the bill to ban auto title lending will go a long way in protecting the unwary and the unfortunate who have been trapped in payday loans with penalties and fees sometimes. exceed 300 percent of interest rates.