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Continuing delays by Ohio House reward payday lenders; Canceled House

sessions hurt borrowers
COLUMBUS – MAY 23, 2018 - The payday loan industry in Ohio continues to benefit from the failure of the Ohio
House of Representatives to pass House Bill 123 (HB 123), bipartisan legislation that would rein in Ohio’s out-of-
control payday loan market. After Speaker Pro Tempore Kirk Schuring canceled what may have been the final
opportunity to vote on legislation this week prior to summer recess, reform advocates are calling upon Senate
leadership to step in to help Ohioans where the House has failed.

“This regrettable narrative of delay, delay and delay again plays right into the payday lenders’ game plan,” said
Michal Marcus, a leader of Ohioans for Payday Loan Reform. “The House’s delays allow the lenders to continue to
gouge the working men and women in Ohio who are harmed by unaffordable payday products with unlimited
fees. For every day these reforms stall Ohioans are charged $200,000 in excessive fees. That means Ohioans have
lost $90 million since HB 123 was introduced. The inaction by our legislators in the House is beyond shameful.”

The House cancelled sessions this week as it continues to dither over selecting a new Speaker. That means yet
more delays for long-pending HB 123, a bi-partisan payday lending reform bill that was expected to receive a full
House vote this week. Payday loan companies, represented by a substantial number of lobbyists in Columbus,
have been flooding legislators’ offices with misinformation in an attempt to stop reform from moving forward.

The prolonged series of delays in the House regarding HB 123 has prompted discussion of the Ohio Senate taking
up the issue without waiting for the House to vote.

Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof recently indicated to The Columbus Dispatch that if the House did not act on HB
123 this week the Senate could soon start working on its own reform legislation.

“If they don’t (send us a bill), we’ll probably just go ahead and proceed and have someone…put pen to paper on
it,” Obhof told the newspaper.

The bi-partisan House Bill 123 was introduced more than 14 months ago, but it has yet to be voted upon by the full
House. The bill languished untouched for months while Cliff Rosenberger was Speaker of the House.

Rosenberger resigned his post last month amid reports he was being scrutinized by the FBI for activities such as a
trip to Europe that was partially paid for by payday lenders. The former speaker had his home raided by FBI agents

In 2008, Ohioans voted by an overwhelming margin to enact payday loan reforms. But the payday loan industry
has ignored the will of the people, operating as loan brokers under a different statute in order to charge unlimited

Ohioans For Payday Loan Reform is a statewide coalition that includes clergy, social agencies, organized labor,
business leaders, veterans and more.
Reform advocate Nate Coffman noted that the continuing House delays associated with approving reforms sends a
terrible message to the public.

“There’s a special kind of irony sadly in play here,” he said. “Ohio House members will continue to be paid their
public salaries even though the House sessions have been cancelled this week. At the same time, many working
Ohioans – due to the House’s long-running inaction -- will continue to have to pay through the nose for exorbitant
borrowing costs charged by the state’s payday loan industry. The public officials who purport to represent
working men and women will get paid while those who depend upon payday loans will continue to get
gouged. It’s not right.”


Contact: Nancy Lesic, 216.696.7686