Opponents of Nevada’s payday loan measure seek veto | NevadaAppeal.com

Opponents of Nevada’s payday loan measure seek veto

BRENDAN RILEY
Associated Press Writer

Opponents of a hard-fought bill to limit the terms of high-interest loans are making a last-ditch attempt to get Gov Jim Gibbons to veto the plan.

Under AB478, which was sent to Gibbons on Monday, a loophole would be closed in the state’s 2005 payday loan law. Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley, D-Las Vegas, pushed the plan, saying some lenders were “motivated by greed” and were using the loophole to charge exorbitant rates.

Gibbons spokeswoman Melissa Subbotin confirmed that the Republican governor had been contacted by opponents of AB478 but hadn’t made any decision on whether to reject or sign the bill. The governor has until midnight Saturday to veto the bill.

“The governor’s office has been contacted and there have been talks about a possible veto,” Subbotin said, adding, “There have been significant discussions and arguments both to sign and to veto” the measure.

Buckley said she didn’t think Gibbons would reject a measure “that would protect our men and women in the military – and all Nevadans – from unscrupulous high interest lenders.”

She added that the bill had strong support from the military and consumer groups and had near-unanimous support in both the Senate and Assembly.

Several small payday loan companies opposed the bill, insisting they were “installment lenders” who should be regulated differently. Buckley said those companies had evaded the law by changing their contracts when the 2005 law took effect. Those changes allowed them to charge interest rates ranging up to 900 percent for over a year.

Under AB478, any company charging more than 40 percent interest on a loan must limit the term of the loan to 35 days. If a borrower can’t pay the loan back after that time, the interest rate must drop to the prime rate plus 10 percent, or 18.25 percent in the current market.