Stand Up Missouri Warns Voters About Dangers of “Payday” Initiative After Supreme Court Decision

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Stand Up Missouri remains committed to educating the public about the dangers of the so-called “Payday Loan Initiative” after the Missouri Supreme Court helped clear the way for the initiative to appear on the November ballot.

Missouri Supreme Court

Missouri Supreme Court

Stand Up Missouri points out that the initiative asks voters to restrict interest rates on all small-dollar loans—not just payday loans.

Stand Up Missouri remains committed to educating the public about the dangers of the so-called “Payday Loan Initiative” after the Missouri Supreme Court helped clear the way for the initiative to appear on the November ballot. Missouri’s high court overturned a Cole County Court ruling that had struck down the ballot initiative petition as misleading to signers. The decision does not mean that the “Payday Loan Initiative” will appear on the November ballot. The initiative petition remains under review to determine whether it has enough valid signatures.

Stand Up Missouri points out that the initiative asks voters to restrict interest rates on all small-dollar loans—not just payday loans. The group had lauded Cole County Court Judge Daniel R. Green’s ruling that the petition language misled signers and was “insufficient, unfair and likely to deceive voters” by disregarding the initiative’s damaging effect on traditional installment lenders. Traditional installment lenders have provided safe and affordable loans in the U.S. for over 100 years.

At issue is the claim by ballot measure proponents that the initiative targets payday lenders; in fact, it also targets traditional installment lenders. This means that if the initiative gets on the ballot and passes in November, the popular and highly regulated traditional installment loans (TILs) will likely disappear from Missouri. TILs are widely recognized as a safe and accessible credit option, particularly for moderate- to low-income individuals and small businesses.

“We’re disappointed with the Court’s ruling and very concerned for the nearly 200,000 TIL customers who rely on traditional loans as an affordable, responsible way to meet emergencies and to build financial security,” said Tom Hudgins, President and CEO of Stand Up Missouri. “TILs are low-cost loans that are often more cost-effective for consumers even than credit cards. If the initiative passes in November, it will virtually eliminate these beneficial loans from Missouri and leave many consumers without a safe place to turn for a small loan or a way to build good credit.”

Hudgins added, “Stand Up Missouri will urge Missourians to vote ‘NO’ on the initiative and to protect their right to make their own credit choices. Education is everything. We’ll continue to educate the public about the vital role that traditional installment loans play in our state economy and how they contribute to our citizens’ financial well-being. Especially in times of economic uncertainty, Missourians want safe and responsible credit options. We’ll keep working to protect their access to those options. ”

This article refers to the Missouri State Supreme Court’s ruling on Francis, et al. v. Carnahan, et al., SC92571.

For more information on Stand Up Missouri, please visit http://www.standupmissouri.org.

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About Stand Up Missouri
Stand Up Missouri is a nonpartisan coalition dedicated to educating Missourians about their right to informed credit choices and to protecting their access to safe and affordable traditional installment loans. Stand Up Missouri does not represent payday lending or payday interests.

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Terry Jones
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