JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - The Mississippi Religious Leadership Conference is asking lawmakers to put payday lenders out of business in the state.
A bill working through the Capitol would decrease consumers' costs to repay short-term loans, but it would also allow the check-cashing businesses to operate another five years.
If legislators do nothing, the payday lending law would expire in 2012.
William Houck, retired bishop of Catholic Diocese of Jackson, says the businesses create "a vicious cycle of borrowing and indebtedness" with loans carrying the equivalent of a 572% annual interest rate.
Payday lenders say they give people access to quick cash for necessities like medicine and utilities.
The bill is House Bill 455.
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