Mar 03, 2011 Todd Milner
A much-debated short term lending bill that made it through the Mississippi state legislature was signed by Governor Haley Barbour on Thursday, Feburary 24. The bill, which goes into effect on January 1, 2012, will allow short term lending to continue operations for the next three years. Barbour's signature comes following significant debate about the future of industry in the state. Had the bill failed to pass, short term lending operations would have ceased completely on January 1. The bill's passage will allow lawmakers to re-examine the industry and potentially craft a new bill for when the next one expires. While the bill does not shutter short term lending operators, it does put caps on interest rates. Opponents had wanted the industry shut down altogether. "This time, it was the will of the Legislature that the consumers get reduced fees," Mississippi state Senator Walter Michel said, according to The Associated Press. "The bill that was passed will enable about 3,000 jobs to remain intact." Short term lenders are now limited to 14-day loans, while consumers will have 30 days to repay loans with interest rates capped at $20 for every $100 borrowed. For loans between $251 and $500, the interest rate is capped at $21.95 for every $100 borrowed.