Group seeks Missouri ballot measure limiting loans

Wednesday, August 10, 2011 | 8:17 a.m. CDT; updated 5:11 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, August 10, 2011

JEFFERSON CITY — A group of community and religious leaders is proposing a Missouri ballot measure that would effectively limit the cost of payday loans.

The secretary of state's office approved the wording of a proposed ballot summary Tuesday, allowing supporters to begin a petition drive to put the question on a statewide ballot.

The proposal would cap interest, fees and charges for payday and car title loans at 36 percent per year. Critics of payday lending often point out that the annual interest on such loans can top 400 percent.

Jim Bryan, former pastor of Missouri United Methodist Church in Columbia, is the treasurer of Missourians for Responsible Lending. Bryan says capping the cost of short-term loans is a matter of right and wrong.

However, critics say the proposal would make it harder for some Missourians to get credit.

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