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Recently there has been considerable local media attention given to the payday loan industry.  Much of this attention is driven by a payday reform bill (HB 2116) that has been filed by State Representative Mary Still; this bill has 71 co-sponsors.  Here are some uncontested background facts:

Eleven states prohibit payday loans.

Missouri law requires the Consumer Credit Section of the state Department of Finance to publish a report every two years on the payday lending industry.  The first such report appeared in 2003.  The latest report appeared in Janurary, 2009.

The reporting period for the 2009 report is calendar year 2008.  During that period, about 1,275 such lenders were active at any given time.  An average loan was $290.29, with a fourteen-day interest/fee of $47.95.  The resultant effective interest rate was 430.68%.

Missouri allows as many as six payday loan renewals.  Arkansas, Kansas, Iowa, Illinois, and Oklahoma are among the 21 states that allow no such renewals.

In 2008, customers of payday loan companies filed 473 complaints with Better Business Bureaus alleging lender wrongdoing.

According to the subscription database Reference USA, there are at least 94 payday lending (Standard Industrial Classification 6141-13) locations in the 417 area code.  In contrast, there are only 23 locations in the entire state of Arkansas.

According the same database, at least 35 payday lending locations are in Greene County.  Madison County, IL, which has approximately the same population as Greene County, has only thirteen locations.  San Luis Obispo County, CA, which has approximately the same population as Greene County, has fourteen.

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