INDIANAPOLIS – Morality and capitalism are on a collision course as Indiana lawmakers look to legalize a new short-term loan option with rates that could venture into loan-sharking territory.
House Republicans narrowly paved the way for the debate with a 53-41 vote last month. The proposed legislation now moves to the Senate where leadership is unsure of its fate.
“Are you really helping someone by giving someone access to loans at these rates?” asked Rep. Matt Pierce, D-Bloomington.
Acknowledging people might be desperate and need money, he questioned “are we helping them by giving them a loan they probably can't pay back and just get into a debt spiral. This kind of debt level would even make Congress blush.”
Senate President Pro Tem David Long, R-Fort Wayne, said his members are concerned about the upfront money – including a high origination fee – that's being taken under House Bill 1319.
“It's controversial over here for sure,” he said.
Fort Wayne Rep. Martin Carbaugh has carried the so-called payday lending bill.