For years, Pennsylvanians have been fortunate that the state has some of the strongest consumer protections in the country from deceptive and abusive lending and financial practices targeted at Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable (and often poorest) residents. But now, predatory lenders are doing everything in their power to eviscerate our protections to allow their out-of-control practices in Pennsylvania.

These deceptive practices are often called “payday lending.” It’s a product where modern-day loan sharks are legally allowed to charge unsuspecting consumers excessive interest rates and fees on short-term loans—often 300% or more.

This anti-consumer practice preys on the most cash-strapped members of society—the poor, elderly, and the nation’s military personnel.

But Pennsylvanians are fighting back. The Philadelphia City Council unanimously took the first steps toward preventing this kind of lending in Pennsylvania by adopting a resolution urging their colleagues in Harrisburg to oppose any rollback of our strong state protections.

With the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is poised to propose needed rules regulating payday lending on June 2nd, the City Council took additional steps by submitting a letter urging the agency to issue a rule that builds upon Pennsylvania’s strong consumer protections and affords them to Americans nationwide.

These actions are a clear demonstration that Philadelphia’s elected leaders – Democrat and Republican – have our backs.

But we’re not done.

PennPIRG is working within a broad and diverse coalition, including Community Legal Services, the PA War Veterans Council, PA AFL-CIO, the Housing Alliance of PA, the PA Council of Churches, AARP, and a host of other organizations, like social service institutions and community development agencies. We are unified and committed to fighting toward keeping Pennsylvania’s existing protections in place.

The latest actions from the Philadelphia City Council are just the first shot across the bow.

Watch video from City Council’s May 12th meeting to see why the industry’s latest attempts are bad news for Philadelphians:

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