Two new payday lending pieces:
of Albany has written Zoning Out Payday Loan Stores and Other Alternative Financial Services Providers. Here's the abstract:
Payday lenders and similar alternative financial services providers are primarily regulated at the state level, but local governments have increasingly begun to impose restrictions of their own on these fringe financial services providers. While some ordinances have focused on lending restrictions and other consumer protections, most municipal payday lender regulations are found in zoning and other land use laws.
Zoning has long been used to restrict the siting of undesirable land uses – ranging from junkyards and landfills to tattoo shops and adult businesses – making it an ideal method for local governments to regulate payday lenders. Experience with other unwanted land uses has led to the development of various zoning techniques appropriate for controlling these businesses, such as separation and dispersal requirements, nonconforming use limitations, special permit procedures, and partial or total exclusions.
This article provides an overview of these and other approaches that local governments have taken to regulate alternative financial services providers. After providing some background regarding the general functions and characteristics of these businesses in the first section, the second section discusses state-level financial regulations and preemption issues. The third section covers the different types of municipal controls that have been imposed on payday lenders and similar businesses, drawing on actual ordinances as well as on case law discussing their use and validity. Finally, the fourth section mentions several alternative, incentive-based non-zoning approaches that have been used to improve financial literacy and extend traditional banking services to a broader population. An appendix listing and briefly describing more than 60 payday lender ordinances is also included.
Jonathan Caleb Landon
adds Usury and the Church: A Christian Response to Payday Lending. The abstract follows:
A recent study by Christopher Peterson & Steven Graves found that “payday” lenders are more prevalent in conservative Christian areas. This paper offers a supplement to Peterson & Graves findings by adding to the discussion the perspective of the Christian churches, located both inside and outside of the areas implicated in the study, on the issue of poverty and its connection to predatory lending practices. This paper’s study employed ethnographic research methods to uncover Christians' perception on these issues. The findings do not support the social/political stereotype that conservative Christians necessarily support conservative political positions regarding usury laws, but instead suggest a more fundamental issue with the Christian church actually accomplishing its mission of applying Biblical teaching to all areas of life, which include one's financial dealings and providing for the poor in one's community.