Logan Municipal Council Member Jay Monson says he believes at least 13 payday lending companies are operating in Logan but that number is not expected to increase anytime soon. Last night the municipal council, on a four to one vote, approved a new ordinace placing density restrictions on payday loan businesses.The ordinance limits such companies to one per 10,000 residents but existing payday lenders would be grandfathered and could continue to operate.Monson urged passage of the ordinance on the basis that these businesses charge up to 400 percent interest, forcing many people into bankruptcy”I know people who have gotten themselves sucked into that, including some students at Utah State with part time jobs who have had to sell everything they had, go into bankruptcy and drop out of school,” Monson said. “Other people have had to do a lot of extreme things to cope because they’re relentless in what they do to collect the money, and the interest goes up just enormously everytime they don’t make a payment.”Monson also said many other cities had restricted such businesses because of their predatory practices. Council member Tami Pyfer voted against the new ordinance saying no one is forced to patronize the businesses.Pyfer also said the best way to address the issue is for the Legislature to put limits on interest rates. Council member Herm Olsen says unless and until that happens this is the council’s best opportunity to help those who can’t help themselves.
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