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Mississippi lawmakers differ on short term loan views

Jan 28, 2011 Todd Milner

A battle is raging in Mississippi as lawmakers debate how to handle the short term loan industry, and according to the Clarion Ledger, industry lobbyists are winning. In 2012, the law allowing short term lending in the state expires. Other states, like North Carolina, have let similar laws lapse and other states have recently imposed fee caps, regulations and all-out short term loan bans. Legislators in the House and Senate differ on how they would like to regulate the industry and if they don't come up with a mutually agreed-upon law, the issue might be put on hold until 2012, George Flaggs, chairman of the House Banking Committee, told Bloomberg. The House recently passed a version of the bill, but the Senate version offers slightly different regulations. The Senate bill would give consumers 21 days to repay loans of up to $300, while the House version would give them up to 21 days to repay loans of $200 or less. For loans higher than those amounts, consumers would have a minimum of 28 days to come up with the money, says the news source. The average short term loan in Mississippi is for $287, says the Ledger, and the state's 572 percent rate is the highest in the Southeast. Under current Mississippi law, short term lenders can charge up to $21.95 for every $100 borrowed.