PASCAGOULA, Miss., Aug. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- The Borrow Smart Mississippi Board of Directors applauds the Jackson County Board of Supervisors for rescinding a resolution recently passed that would have had negative consequences for short term borrowers and the short term lending industry.
The Board of Supervisors today voted 4 to 1 to rescind a recent resolution they had passed that called upon the Mississippi state legislature to cap fees on check cashing stores at 36 percent APR.
The original resolution was presented to the Jackson County Board of Supervisors by an attorney with the Mississippi Center for Justice. Today, the Board reviewed further information provided by business owners.
"We want to thank all the members of the Jackson County Board of Supervisors for allowing us to share our side of the story today and for keeping the best interest of the people of Jackson County at the forefront of this debate," said Dan Robinson, Borrow Smart spokesman. "Without question, a 36 percent APR cap would put short term lenders out of business and leave the people of Mississippi without access to short term loans.
"Payday loans are often used by customers to avoid more costly fees such as bank overdraft fees and credit card late fees and even unregulated internet loans."
Because cash advance loans are extended for 14 to 31 days, a 36 percent APR would translate into $1.38 for each $100 borrowed. Short term lenders would not be able to operate at such a rate. The current legislation for cash advance (payday) loans allows an 18 percent fee for each loan. All short term lenders are closely regulated and audited by the Mississippi Department of Banking and Consumer Finance.
Borrow Smart Mississippi was established in 2009 by a group of Mississippi-based short term lenders who recognized a need to establish accountability within the industry and to better educate customers and the public about the smart use of their services. Those lenders have now launched their first customer outreach efforts with in-store signage and the launch of www.BorrowSmartMS.com along with a comprehensive financial education initiative (www.BorrowSmartMS-ED.com).
"The primary goal of Borrow Smart is to ensure that customers have access to lenders they can trust – lenders who will help them avoid over borrowing," said Dan Robinson, business owner and spokesperson for the group. "We also want to help communicate the importance of our industry to the larger community. In a time when consumer credit is hard to come by, short term lending offers an important option for people facing a temporary, urgent financial need."
All members of Borrow Smart Mississippi have agreed to a Code of Fair Lending to which stores must adhere. This code promises fairness, honesty and integrity in all business practices, specifically noting that members will:
- Promote the responsible use of credit and strive to educate the consumer on financial choices that are available to them.
- Exercise compassion when warranted by customer situations to arrange repayment options.
- Not allow customers to roll over any loan.
Find the complete Code of Fair Lending at the organization's Web site, www.BorrowSmartMS.com.
Stores participating in Borrow Smart Mississippi and adhering to the Code of Ethics can be identified by the Borrow Smart seal on their doors and inside the stores. Brochures available in the stores will educate consumers on smart lending practices. The Borrow Smart Code of Fair Lending is available only at Borrow Smart approved stores.
Borrow Smart Mississippi is a not-for-profit trade organization with 350 member stores in the state. Borrow Smart's mission is to educate our customers and the public about short term lending, to ensure fair treatment of customers and to honor them by protecting the future of our industry.
SOURCE Borrow Smart Mississippi