PAYDAY LOAN interest rates can rival those of Mob loansharks - ranging from 400 annual percentage rate to well over 1,000 percent.
Because it is addictive, and destructive to individuals and communities, payday loans more nearly resemble another Mob enterprise: drug dealing.
The Pennsylvania Legislature should reject a bill legalizing the practice in the state - even with regulations that attempt to protect consumers from being permanently hooked into crushing debt.
As Dave Davies reported in yesterday's Daily News, the payday lending industry has hired Sharif Street, a lawyer with Wolf, Block Solis Cohen (and the mayor's son), to lobby for legislation that would allow payday lenders to operate here on their own. Now, the companies partner with small out-of-state banks in order to claim they are loan "brokers" rather than lenders - and so charge exponentially more in interest than the state's 28 percent limit.