As expected, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland signed the “cap” on payday lending businesses into law on Monday. The new restriction’s supporters are “thrilled beyond words” now that Ohio payday lenders won’t be able to charge such “exorbitant” flat fees on a two-week loan. Translation: Supporters are “thrilled beyond words” now that Ohio payday lenders can’t afford to stay open. Under the new interest rate cap, the fees they may now chare will be reduced from $15 for a two-week $100 loan to a mere $1.07. That’s with the new law’s 28-percent “cap.”(Would you loan $100 to a stranger for $1.07?!)
This shut-down of the Ohio payday lending industry is among the most dishonest government con jobs in recent memory. Why did Ohio legislators insist that the new measure would regulate the industry when they knew the result would be to ban it? Consumers across the state are now crying foul:
"This is the first instance where the government just shuts down a business arbitrarily. They’re not considering the people who will be out of work, the property owners who lease to them and the public — it’s a big disappointment."
         Payday loan customer Dan Schardt, Sandusky Register
"It’s like people are taking away our freedom and choices a little at a time."
         Payday loan customer Brian Douglas, Hamilton Journal News
“I have counted on one monthly payday loan to cover my utilities and massive medication costs. I should not be penalized because of those who have not used these loans responsibly, nor should I be forced to go without lights because [many opponents of payday lending] never have been in the position people like me are in.”
         Sharon Organ, Letter to the Editor, Columbus Dispatch
“[O]nce this legislation goes into effect, a lot of struggling people are going to wonder where to turn when their car battery dies or their kids need new school clothes or they couldn’t get any overtime work that week.”
         Krista Ramsey, Letter to the Editor, Cincinnati Enquirer
"I have gotten behind with overdraft fees and with the prices they charge, I could have got a short loan for a lot less. Payday lenders are not the loan sharks they make them out to be. All the government is doing is taking away my options."
        Payday loan customer Hugh Lake, Hamilton Journal News
The government-led annihalation of the Ohio payday lending industry a slap in the face of democracy and consumer choice. State legislators are elected to act in their constituents’ best interest–not to use shady measures to take away choices they think we shouldn’t have.