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Thomas Speaks at National Payday Loan Reform Conference

It was my great pleasure to speak at the Pew Charitable Trusts National Briefing: Ohio's Balanced Model for Payday Lending Reform in D.C. Being apart of the Ohioans for Payday Loan Reform and representing needed change through the passage of H.B.123 has helped to save Ashtabula County residents $1 million yearly in fees and interest and brought competition and oversight to this market. Click here to watch at 2:28:00 the webcast on Ohio's payday lending reform model:

Washington D.C. - November 12, 2018 –

Ashtabula County Auditor-Elect David Thomas participated in the Pew Charitable Trusts’ National Briefing: Ohio’s Balanced Model for Payday Lending Reform as part of a number of panelists discussing the passage of H.B. 123. Thomas is a Coalition Leader for Ohioans for Payday Loan Reform which led the effort to pass the Fairness in Lending Act in July of 2018.

Coalition leaders along with key State Legislators from Ohio met in Washington the Pew Charitable Trusts’ headquarters to participate in a nationally broadcast conference on the success of passage for the bill. “I helped to represent rural Ohio to our legislators on Payday Loan Reform,” shared Thomas. “This issue impacts not just urban Ohio but Ashtabula County and rural areas too.”

Prior to passage of H.B. 123, Ohio had the worst short term lending in the nation with interest rates at average nearly 600% APR and costs for borrowing nearly 4x as much as other states.

The bill has the following consumer protections:

  • Adequate time to repay and affordable payments: Gives borrowers at least three months to repay or limits monthly payments on short-term loans to 6% of the borrower’s gross monthly income.

  • Reasonable prices: Authorizes pricing that aligns interests of lenders and borrowers, while maintaining widespread access to credit: 28% annual interest and a maximum monthly fee of 10% capped at $30.

  • Pathway out of debt: Requires equal payments of principal, interest and fees combined, plus a reasonable time to repay based on loan size and the borrower’s income.

  • Eliminates loopholes: Prevents lenders from using unintended statutes, such as the Credit Services Organization statute, to avoid consumer lending laws and protections.

The conference at Pew was held to inform other coalition groups in the United States of how best to proceed for reform efforts in other states.

The Ohio reform effort took nearly 18 months and included rallies in Columbus, lobby days, and testimony before committees. "Representatives heard from our local residents and their concerns were met with action," said Thomas. "The reform will mean real savings for our area borrowers and more money in their pockets to be spent locally with nearly $1 million in savings yearly in Ashtabula County."

The bill will save Ohioans more than $75 million in excessive fees each year that can be invested back into local communities and businesses.

Ashtabula County Commissioners endorsed H.B. 123 during the Fall of 2017 and the bill received support from a number of state wide religious, civic, and social organizations.

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