The head of Wisconsin’s consumer protection agency says payday loans are ‘predatory.’ Testifying at the Capitol on bills to regulate the industry, Department of Ag, Trade and Consumer Protection administrator Janet Jenkins compared payday loans to sub-prime mortgage lending.
“That type of lending was called predatory lending, and in the opinion of the department, payday lending is really a form of predatory lending,” Jenkins told a joint hearing before the Assembly Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection committees. “In the department’s opinion, the issue before this committee, and ultimately the legislature, is how to prevent predatory lending in this form.”
Jenkins’ comments prompted some pointed questioning from Republican lawmakers, state Representatives Mike Huebsch and Joel Kleefisch.
AUDIO: Huebsch, Jenkins, Kleefisch (3:00 MP3)
Jenkins clarified that DATCP thinks pay day lending in it’s current form – which her agency doesn’t have regulatory authority over – needs to go away, but that there also need to be alternatives for people who need short term loans.
AUDIO: Janet Jenkins (:20 MP3)
The Assembly committees heard testimony for much of the day Wednesday, on several proposals to regulate the payday loan industry in Wisconsin.