McDaniel on Payday Lenders: A Good Start, But a Long Way to Go

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April 08, 2008

LITTLE ROCK- Today, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel announced a large response to the 156 letters sent March 18th to licensed payday lenders demanding they cease illegal lending practices in Arkansas.

As of today, the Attorney General's office has received direct word from fifty-two companies advising that they will comply with the laws of Arkansas, which were outlined in the March 18th letter. Based on media reports, consumer calls, and other contacts, the Attorney General has reason to believe that another seven have also ceased issuing payday loans. These fifty-nine companies account for almost all the 156 locations that were targeted by the March 18th letter.

In the coming days and weeks, the Attorney General will be making an effort to ensure the accuracy of these companies' representations and reports. To the extent any of these businesses continue to either make usurious loans or collect on such past loans, they make themselves prime targets for litigation.

The Attorney General wants it clear that individuals and entities that have engaged in the unlawful practice in the past, including those that responded by letter, are not clear from liability for those past acts. However, the primary focus at this time is to stop the practice.

Finally, those companies that engage in usurious payday lending that did not receive the letter this time will be addressed in the near future.

"While I am pleased with the initial response, there is still much work to be done," McDaniel said. "My staff and I remain committed to bringing about the end of illegal payday loans in Arkansas."

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