- Associated Press - Thursday, March 26, 2015

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring is launching an effort aimed at combatting predatory lending.

Herring announced the move Thursday at a field hearing of the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in Richmond. The agency announced proposed rules to set standards for the industry.

Herring’s office is aiming to develop a plan to revitalize consumer protection efforts by May 1.

Critics of payday lending say short-term, high-interest loans prey on the poor. Defenders counter that they offer an option for people who find themselves in a desperate financial fix.

Virginia’s efforts in regard to predatory lending will focus on enforcement actions, education and prevention, strengthening and expanding partnerships with other groups and examining new laws.

Herring’s strategy also will include alternative lending solutions for consumers.

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