Amarillo Globe News: Seminar pulls veil off payday loan biz

July 23, 2014

Payday and auto title loans are big business in Amarillo, and city leaders will hear from two experts and the public on Monday about possibly regulating the lenders.

Data from the Texas Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner shows there were 9,654 payday loans with single payments due made in Amarillo during 2013 and twice that many refinanced. Those transactions totaled $13 million and generated $3 million in fees.

About $6.8 million in new and refinanced auto title loans generated $1.9 million in fees in 2013. There were 2,878 new loans and 3,571 refinances.

The statistics are for the Amarillo Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Armstrong and Carson counties in addition to Potter and Randall counties.

“The issue has become more apparent to cities as more locations come in and there’s an increase in negative impact,” said Brett Merfish, one of the speakers at the Monday event and staff attorney for Texas Appleseed, a public interest law center.

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