Bill could spell pay dirt for payday lenders

Legislation for 'payday advances'

The oddest of state legislative odd couples — Rep. Steve "Thunder" Tumlin, R-Marietta, and Rep. Al Williams, D-Midway — want to repeal a law that cracks down on predatory payday lenders, leaving critics to wonder why and why now.

The law, passed in 2004, outlawed short-term, high-interest loans known as "payday advances." Extra fees sometimes caused the interest rates for such loans to top 1,000 percent. The law threatened lenders who make "payday advances" with racketeering charges that carry up to 20 years in prison and a $25,000 fine per transaction.

The measure, which is cosponsored by Tumlin and Williams, would significantly water down those penalties.

Attorney General Thurbert Baker is on the record saying payday-lending institutions should be strictly regulated. So is Gov. Sonny Perdue, who signed into law the stricter criminal penalties on payday lenders that exploit Georgians with high interest rates.

Allison Wall, executive director of the consumer-advocacy group Georgia Watch, says no one can get an answer as to why Williams supports the consumer-unfriendly legislation. Williams did not respond to requests for comments from CL.

As for Tumlin, the Marietta representative pointed out that his bill imposes a daily $1,000 fine on lenders who violate the law. "It's [still] tough," he told his colleagues on the committee.

But Wall says she can't figure out why Tumlin wants a strong, pro-consumer law repealed. "What Tumlin is saying is that the governor and leader of his own party signed a bad bill into law," she says.

More By This Writer


Wednesday February 28, 2007 12:04 am EST
Uphill battle expected in Republican Legislature | more...


Monday February 26, 2007 04:24 pm EST

image-1There's a much-ballyhooed bill out there that would enable counties in the metro area to establish a regionwide 1-percent sales tax. The tax would be used for transportation projects.It sounds like a good idea, and has received notable backing from the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce.

But at the very least, if the bill's language isn't changed before it moves it could prove more...

| more...


Wednesday February 14, 2007 05:58 pm EST

Gov. Sonny Perdue issued the following statement Tuesday regarding the passing of Congressman Charlie Norwood:

"Mary and I extend our deepest sympathies to Gloria and the entire Norwood family. Gloria has been an incredible example of strength and dedication to us all as she stood by Charlie's side.

"Charlie cared for his constituents in the same way he cared for his patients as a...

| more...


Wednesday February 14, 2007 12:04 am EST
Republican uses honeymoon phase to foster 'lovefest' at the Gold Dome | more...


Tuesday February 13, 2007 11:09 pm EST

As we wrote a couple of days ago, '08 presidential contender Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, already has organization in Georgia.

Today he formally announced his candidacy, and Ric Mayfield, who runs Georgians for Romney, watched the speech on Romney's website.

"I thought he did a pretty good job," Mayfield says.

The Georgia Republican committed to Romney based...

| more...
Search for more by Max Pizarro

[Admin link: Bill could spell pay dirt for payday lenders]