National payday lending hearing to be held in Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced Wednesday a national hearing on payday lending practices will take place June 2 in Kansas City.

Last year, the CFPB announced they would be working on proposed changes to the entire payday loan industry, and this hearing may be one of the first public steps.

The event is open to the general public, but requires an online RSVP.

John Miller, who works with Communities Creating Opportunity to fight predatory lending practices, said this is a great opportunity for Kansas City.

"We can bring reform not just to Missouri and not just to Kansas, but across the country," said Miller. "And if we can be a major part of that, we would love that opportunity."

Miller said he became involved in the fight against predatory lending when his friend took his own life because of debt.

"After that I found out he had been in deep financial debt, and the last lender for him had been the payday loan companies," he said.

In Missouri, Miller explained, the average interest rate on payday loans is 450 percent.

Currently, payday lending is regulated on a state-by-state basis.

Eighteen states, along with the District of Columbia, prohibit high-cost payday lending.

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Shannon Halligan can be reached at shannon.halligan@kshb.com.

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