Legislation Establishes Nevada Payday Loan Database
Inside Subprime: May 13, 2019
By Grace Austin
With votes following party lines, the Nevada Senate passed a bill to create a statewide payday and high-interest loan database in April.
The bill, SB201, was sponsored by Democrat Yvanna Cancela. It would allow the state’s Financial Institutions Division to contract with a private vendor to create that database.
SB201 would check payday loan firm compliance with state laws and collect data like loan amounts, loan interest, how frequently a borrower takes out a specific loan, fees leveled on loans, and those borrowers with outstanding loans.
The bill follows heated hearings in recent months over such a database, with payday loan industry representatives arguing that it’s overly burdensome and will put their companies out of business. Proponents of the bill, which included faith groups and consumer advocates, said it would help regulate an industry that has abusive practices.
There are about 300 brick-and-mortar payday loan storefronts in Nevada operating under about 100 companies.
The bill originated from a Financial Institutions Division audit in 2018 showing that payday loan lenders had poor consumer ratings. Cancela said in March that the database would be beneficial for the industry, allowing the state to regulate lenders in real time as opposed to annual checks by the state.
Other states across the country have already passed legislation installing payday loan databases. The Nevada Independent reports at least 14 other states already have one, with charges between $0.43 to $1.24 per loan to operate the system.
That fee is expected to be about $1 per loan to operate Nevada’s payday loan database. Lobbyists for the payday loan industry said that would raise interest rates tremendously.
Similar bills had previously failed in the Nevada Legislature.
Nevada legislators have also tried to pass bills capping interest rates to a consumer advocate-recognized 36 percent. Lawmakers recently killed such a bill; it remains to be seen if another one will be reintroduced in the future.