Amarillo to Crack Down on Payday Loan Industry

- AMARILLO -- The city of Amarillo plans to crack down on payday lenders.

    The city council Tuesday held the first of two public hearings on the matter.

    The proposed ordinance would rein in how much these businesses can loan to individuals among other things.
    If the ordinance passes, Amarillo would be the 19th Texas city to regulate payday lending and title loans.

    During the brief public hearing, not one person stood up to defend or criticize the payday lending industry.
    Though this has been a hot button issue across the state.

    Amarillo currently has about two dozen payday and title loan businesses.

    For payday loans, it would not be able to exceed 20% of the borrowers monthly income.

    If it's a title loan for your car, it would not be able to exceed 3% of your annual income or 70% of the retail value of the vehicle.

    Mayor Paul Harpole says the city is acting because state lawmakers won't.

    "We want to be sure people have the ability to pay the loan.   We want to be sure that they aren't rolled into a series of fees that amount to an enormous charge on these things.  And really to make sure people understand what they're doing with these types of loans. "  Harpole said.

    The second public hearing on this proposed ordinance will be held next Tuesday.

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