Lenders spent big to advance bill raising rates

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 13, 2013

RALEIGH (AP) — Records show a small group of consumer finance providers spent more than $1.8 million on lobbying and campaign contributions to North Carolina lawmakers to win passage of a bill raising the maximum interest rates they can charge borrowers.
Critics of the measure say the 30-percent maximum interest rates and new fees called for in the bill will trap vulnerable borrowers in a harmful cycle, forcing them to take on more debt just to cover the payments on prior loans.
A review of public records by the Associated Press shows the owners of consumer finance companies and their political action committees donated more than $300,000 to campaigns since 2010. Most went to Republicans.
Another $1.5 million went to groups created to push the industry’s agenda and to pay 20 lobbyists.