One group of citizens is urging Birmingham, Alabama, officials to pass a policy that would restrict the number of short term lenders allowed to operate in the city. However, there are many opponents to the regulation, stating that forbidding the short term lending
companies from opening would ultimately hurt consumers. The Birmingham News recently published the opinion of Barbara Martin, who serves as divisional director of operations for Advance America. Martin argues that by limiting the number of short term lenders, area residents will not be able to gain access to alternative finance
options. Many consumers rely on the short term loans provided by these businesses to pay for necessary and emergency expenses. States that have outlawed short term lenders have seen increases in the number of bounced checks and personal bankruptcies, stated Martin. If Birmingham officials pass the policy, consumers will no longer have access to regulated forms of finance to help them through tough times. The city already has a ban on short term loan operators, although it is set to expire in September, reports the newspaper in a separate article. The Birmingham Faith in Action group is calling for the ban to be extended permanently.