- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 4, 2015

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - Payday lenders are pushing Washington lawmakers to change a state law that restricts high-cost loans marketed to poor people.

The Seattle Times reports ( https://bit.ly/18jHLxm ) the state’s payday lenders have lost three-quarters of their business in the five years since a new law took effect. Led by Seattle-based Moneytree, the industry is lobbying lawmakers to alter the law. The lenders support legislation to eliminate traditional two-week payday loans and replace them with “installment loans” that would stretch repayment out for up to a year.

The proposal has drawn bipartisan support and passed committees in both legislative chambers. Backers say it would help the lending business and give people access to more affordable short-term credit.

But consumer-advocacy groups argue the changes would undermine the state’s 2009 reforms and put more people in debt.

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