A big kudos to Ames Iowa CCI members for standing up for the Iowa they want to see!
As a result of their hard work – meeting with their city council members to build support for an ordinance to stop payday lenders from expanding in Ames – Ames passed what looks like the most restrictive ordinance on payday lenders to date.This sets a great precedent for other Iowa communities looking to stop the wealth drain from payday lenders.
Below is our press release on the victory:
Ames City Council passes most restrictive ordinance on payday lenders to date
Iowa CCI members hail passage, look to other cities in absence of state legislation
Ames, IA – In a unanimous vote late Tuesday evening, the Ames City Council passed the toughest, most restrictive ordinance on payday lenders in the state of Iowa, if not the nation.
The ordinance, which uses a combination of zoning overlays and separation distances, effectively bans any new payday lender from opening within Ames city limits.
“I’m exceedingly pleased with this passage,” said CCI member Susie Petra of Ames. “Currently there are no payday lenders near the Iowa State campus and there won’t be with this ordinance. With massive student loan debt, the last thing students needed were payday lenders setting up shop nearby and driving them further into debt.”
The state legislature, not cities, has the authority to regulate interest rates on payday loans, which currently average just under 400% APR. Despite strong grassroots support for interest rate caps, the legislature has failed to bring a bill to the governor’s desk. This leaves cities to address the problem through zoning, with Iowa City next on the list of cities poised to take action.
“We celebrate this victory today, but continue pushing communities around the state to follow our lead,” added Jo Rod, another CCI member from Ames. “We are tired of corporate backed payday lenders putting profits and greed ahead of people and need.”
Iowa CCI members will continue to push for interest rate caps at the state level in next year’s legislative session. Until then, Iowa CCI vows to pursue all tools, including zoning ordinances, to curb the abusive practices of payday lenders.
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> Interested in replicating this in your community? Contact us today.
> Read more about our work to curb payday lending in Iowa here.
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