New study tells inside story of how local communities use ordinances to say ‘enough’ to payday lenders

Here's the press release:

Jan. 24, 2017— An 18-month study of community approaches to controlling payday lending practices concludes there are 10 lessons for those interested in positively affecting local ordinances, according to researchers from the University of Utah and University of New Mexico.

In “The Power of Community Action: Anti-Payday Loan Ordinances in Three Metropolitan Areas,” researchers Robert N. Mayer and Nathalie Martin document how local communities positively organize to control payday lending in their jurisdictions and thereby create important legal change.

Mayer is a professor of family and consumer studies at the University of Utah and Martin is a professor at the University of New Mexico School of Law.

“We hope this study will galvanize local communities and show them how they can make a difference in changing the law and society as a whole,” Martin said.

Payday loans, which are borrowed against future paychecks and can carry interest rates of 400 percent or more, often strip wealth from society’s most economically vulnerable individuals and communities. These loan outlets now outnumber all McDonald’s, Burger King, Starbucks and Walgreens stores combined. In states where legislative controls are weak — and in the absence of federal regulations — some local governments have stepped forward to address the problems caused by high-cost, predatory payday loans.

The researchers traveled to three regions — Silicon Valley in Northern California; Greater Metropolitan Dallas in Texas; and Greater Salt Lake City in Utah — to see how local entities have produced numerous ordinances aimed at halting the spread of payday lending. The locations were chosen for their diverse demographic, cultural, political and legal characteristics.