Jason Gloyd, chairman of the Cincinnati-based anti-tax group, will be at the Lucas County Courthouse property at 10 a.m. to urge citizens to reject the recently passed law because of the intrusive government intrusion into private lives that it contains.
The current ballot language for Issue 5 reads:
STATE ISSUE 5
Referendum – REFERENDUM ON LEGISLATION MAKING CHANGES TO CHECK CASHING LENDING, SOMETIMES KNOWN AS “PAYDAY LENDING,” FEES, INTEREST RATES AND PRACTICES
Substitute House Bill 545 (H.B. 545), which was passed by the Ohio legislature and signed into law by the Governor, substantially changed the law regulating how certain lenders in Ohio operate. Under the referendum, voters must decide whether Section 3 of H.B. 545 should go into effect.
Section 3 of H.B. 545 deletes the old provisions of the law regulating check cashing enders, sometimes known as “payday lenders,” in favor of the new provisions.
1. If a majority of Ohio voters approve Section 3 of H.B. 545, all short term enders, including check cashing lenders, would be subject to the following imitations:
• The maximum loan amount would be $500;
• Borrowers would have at least 30 days to repay the loan; and
• The maximum interest rate would be 28% annual percentage rate (APR) on all loans.
2. If a majority of Ohio voters reject Section 3 of H.B. 545, check cashing lenders ould be allowed to continue under previous law as follows:
• The maximum loan amount would continue to be $800;
• There would continue to be no minimum repayment period; and
• Check cashing lenders could continue to charge rates and fees, resulting in a total charge for a loan that substantially exceeds an equivalent APR of 28%.
A “YES” vote means you approve of Section 3 of H.B. 545, and want to limit the interest rate for short term loans to 28% APR and change short term lending laws.
A “NO” vote means you disapprove of Section 3 of H.B. 545 and want to permit check cashing lenders to continue to be able to offer short term loans as currently permitted.
A majority “YES” vote is required for Section 3 of H.B. 545 to be approved.
The interest rate that can be charged is the major component of the bill, but there are other provisions in H.B. 545 that give the government intrusive control over aspects of our lives - onerous "big brother" provisions are not even listed as part of the ballot language.
If Issue 5 passes, the state government will create a data base to keep track of who gets payday loans, how much is borrowed and when. Prior to giving out loans, the payday lenders must check the state's database to see if the recipient is 'eligible.'
Yes, that's right - the state gets to say whether or not you can have a loan.
How do they know if you're eligible? According to the law, you can only get four payday loans in a calendar year.
You can have two payday loans within a 90-day period of time, but if you try to get a third loan in that time frame, you are denied, until you take a 'financial literacy class.'
Yep - if you're taking out such loans you obviously need the government to educate your about financial issues...never mind that the individuals most in need of financial education are the very lawmakers who passed this bill.
You also can't get a loan if you already have loan with that lender - or if you have 'more than one outstanding loan,' if you've paid off your loan on the same day you're taking out a new one, or if you're planning to use the loan to pay off another payday loan.
And then the law restricts how much you can borrow:
If the loan would obligate the borrower to repay a total amount of more than $500 to licensees, or indebt the borrower, to licensees, for an amount that is more than 25% of the borrower's gross monthly salary not including bonus, overtime, or other such compensation, based on a payroll verification statement presented by the borrower;
Since when is it the role of the government to track what you borrow, when and how much? Since when is it the role of government to tell you how you can use the money you borrow? Since when is it the role of the government to decide whether or not you need or should take a class in finances? Since when did Ohioans think it was okay to grant government this kind of intrusion into our daily lives?
Even if you think payday lenders should be restricted by state law to certain interest rates, how can you possible approve of giving the government such authority over peoples' lives?
If Issue 5 passes, it will result in a loss of jobs in Ohio, and it's not just the ability to charge a higher interest rates. I don't think any business would approve or support the restrictions placed on the payday lenders when it comes to collecting what they're owed.
The government can charge the payday lenders for accessing the database - a fee that will probably be passed along to the borrowers. so that's another 'tax' on businesses.
Usually, when a business deposits a check and that check bounces, they'll put it through a second time. They may pursue court action, as well. But payday lenders, under this law, cannot do that.
The law prohibits lenders from re-depositing a bounced check unless they first get written permission from the borrower to do so. They also can't bring or threaten to bring court action against the borrower if their payment is refused or returned for insufficient funds. The only way they can pursue such action is if they can prove the borrowed intended to defraud the payday lender by closing their bank account, or giving false bank account information, in order to avoid payment.
If you're a business owner, would you agree to such terms being dictated by the government?
Many loans have pre-payment penalties. Payday lenders, however, would not be able to use such terms. Also, under the new law, they couldn't include a contract provision to automatically deduct funds from your account or bill your credit card for payment on an agreed-upon date. If they violate these restrictions - restrictions other businesses in Ohio are allowed to utilize - they're subject to criminal charges.
Any debt collectors hired to collect unpaid loans also have significant restrictions placed upon them. When people don't pay their bills, they often don't want to be 'found' by debt collectors. So if a collector calls another other than the borrower to gather information, they cannot reveal that they are calling because the borrower owes money.
If someone called my house looking for one of my relatives and wouldn't tell me why they're calling, I wouldn't give out any information - would you????
They also can't communicate by post card or include anything on an envelope that indicates the contents relate to a debt. And if you don't this debt collector to contact you, the law has provisions for that as well:
If a borrower provides written notification, to a licensee or a debt collector, that the borrower refuses to pay a debt or that the borrower wishes the debt collector to cease further communication with the borrower, the act prohibits the debt collector from communicating further with the borrower with respect to the debt, except:
(1) To advise the borrower that the debt collector's further efforts are being terminated;
(2) To notify the borrower that the debt collector or licensee may invoke specified remedies that are ordinarily invoked by such debt collector or licensee; or
(3) Where applicable, to notify the borrower that the debt collector or licensee intends to invoke a specified remedy. If such notice from the borrower is made by mail, notification is complete upon receipt.
Who would accept such a collection contract under these terms and conditions? It almost assures failure in the effort to get the loan repaid.
With such onerous restrictions on borrowers, lenders and the collections, would it make sense for these businesses to continue to operate? Many say no and are planning to close, laying off their employees, if the referendum passes.
Of course, credit unions are probably very happy about this law. Under the terms, they get subsidized by our tax dollars, through a linked deposit program, to give our short-term loans. This is intended to replace the 'option' payday lenders are currently providing, but the terms are not as conducive, requiring a loan that is at least 90 days in length.
This law is anti-business, anti-consumer and 'Orwellian' in its provisions. As I said earlier, even if you agree with the interest rate component, how can you possibly approve of giving the government this kind of control over decisions which should be yours - and yours alone?
We need to vote NO on Issue 5.