Lawmakers protect title loan firms while borrowers pay sky-high interest rates

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Ohio is among the nation’s leaders when it comes to the number of title loan companies with local outlets, according to recent data compiled by the Center for Public Integrity, a non-profit investigative news organization based in Washington, D.C.  Read the story at

The Center, in a new investigation, tracked how much these high-interest lenders have donated to the campaigns of state lawmakers. In Ohio, the contributions have totaled about $158,00 since 2004, according to CPI’s study.

Three major lending companies operate in Ohio. Select Management Resources, which operates under the names Loan Star, Loan Max and Midwest Title Loans, is the largest operator with over 100 locations in the state The others are Community Loans of America, which operates about 40 stores, and TMX Finance, with 24 stores.

Although the Ohio General Assembly in 2008 passed a bill to cap interest on pay day loans at 28 percent, the law applies only to check-cashing loans. Interest rates on such things as second mortgages and car loans can still run sky-high.

CPI has tracked how many bills to further stifle the high-interest lenders have been defeated across the country and how much money state legislators have received.

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