UPDATE:  Secretary of State Certifies Signatures for NE Payday Lending Reform Ballot Measure

(KFOR NEWS  August 6, 2020)   The Secretary of State’s Elections Division announced that the Nebraskans for Responsible Lending campaign turned in more than enough signatures to qualify for the November 3 ballot.  Signatures were verified in 46 counties, although only 38
are required.  The initiative aims to reduce the amount that payday lenders can charge to a maximum annual percentage rate of 36%.

“The fact that signatures were verified in 46 counties speaks to broad support for this initiative,” said Aubrey Mancuso, a spokesperson for Nebraskans for Responsible Lending and Voices for Children Executive Director. “Predatory payday lenders have been charging excessive interest to Nebraskans who can least afford it for years, trapping them in long- term debt that is financially devastating. We found overwhelming support from Nebraskans when circulating this petition, and we are very pleased it’s official.  We can now move forward with ending these unethical lending practices.”

Starting in early Fall of 2019, the Nebraskans for Responsible Lending coalition was able to collect more than 120,000 voter signatures,  Roughly
85,200 valid voter signatures were required to qualify for the November general election ballot.

Although payday loans are marketed as a short-term fix, the loan terms are actually designed to trap borrowers in a cycle of long-term debt. The Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance (NDBF) reports that in 2018 the average borrower was charged 404 percent APR on a $342 loan and was trapped in 10 loans in a single year.

16 states and the District of Columbia have already enacted rate caps of about 36%.  By large majorities, voters in Montana, South Dakota, Colorado, Arizona and Ohio have passed ballot measures effectively capping payday loan rates at 36% or less.

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