Missouri payday loan initiative is clear for petition circulation

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August 16, 2011

By Bailey Ludlam

Missouri

JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri: An initiative to cap the annual rate of interest, fees, and finance charges for payday, title, installment, and consumer credit loans is clear for petition circulation for the 2012 statewide ballot. The proposal is sponsored by a group called Missourian's for Responsible Living.

According to reports, loan amounts usually range from $100-$500. The Missouri Division of Finance reports that in 2010 there were an estimated 1,040 payday loan stores and 2.43 million payday loans in the state of Missouri. A 2007 study by the state division found that of 3,700 borrowers, the average age was 43 and the average income was about $24,000.[1]

In order to qualify the proposed initiative for the 2012 ballot, supporters are required to collect signatures from registered voters equal to 5% of the total votes cast in the 2008 governor's election from six of the state's nine congressional districts. The petition drive deadline is May 6, 2012.

The initiative was approved for circulation on August 9, 2011 by the Missouri Secretary of State.

The proposed initiative reads:[2]

Shall Missouri law be amended to limit the annual rate of interest, fees, and finance charges for payday, title, installment, and consumer credit loans and prohibit such lenders from using other transactions to avoid the rate limit?



State governmental entities could have annual lost revenue estimated at $2.5 to $3.5 million that could be partially offset by expenditure reductions for monitoring industry compliance. Local governmental entities could have unknown total lost revenue related to business license or other business operating fees if the proposal results in business closures.

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