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Oregon Wants More Regulation Of Tax Refund Loan Companies

OPB | March 30, 2009 5:02 a.m. | Updated: July 17, 2012 1:11 a.m. | Salem, OR

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By Chris Lehman

If you're expecting a refund from the IRS this year, a tax preparer may ask you how fast you want it.

A measure under consideration in Salem would more tightly regulate the companies that promise quick cash when you file your taxes.   Correspondent Chris Lehman has more.


These so-called Refund Anticipation Loans are popular because you get your money quickly, instead of pining away by your mailbox.  But in exchange for the quick cash, you can end up paying hundreds of dollars in interest and fees.

Matt Wallace of the Oregon Public Interest Research Group says that’s a bad deal.

Matt Wallace:  “When you calculate those out as annual percentage rates as you would for a normal or other type of loan, you look at triple digit, really exorbitant rates.”

Wallace testified in favor of an Oregon House measure to cap the interest and fees, and require verbal and written disclosure of the rates.  

Supporters of the measure say low-income people are disproportionately high users of fast refund services.  

Unlike when the Legislature debated regulating the payday loan industry, this time no loan companies showed up to oppose the bill.


Online:

Oregon House Bill 3163

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