Forrest City Lawmaker Stalls Bill on Payday Lenders

FEBRUARY 1, 2007 - Posted at 6:47 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Questions about whether payday lenders were unfairly targeted by a bill to prevent them from charging triple-digit interest rates have delayed a vote on the measure in a House committee.

Representative David Dunn of Forrest City told members of the House Insurance and Commerce committee yesterday that the bill isolates one industry and ignores banks, utilities and pawn shops that also take advantage of people.

The bill by Representative David Johnson of Little Rock would charge payday lenders a $300 fine every time they charged consumers interest higher than 17 percent.  He says the proposal would protect low-income consumers who are targeted by payday lenders.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)