PNS Daily Newscast - January 20, 2020 

Virginia declares a state of emergency ahead of a pro-gun rally as the nation pauses to celebrate MLK Day.

2020Talks - January 20, 2020 

The New York Times endorsed Senators Elizabeth Warren of MA and Amy Klobuchar of MN. Plus, on the eve of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, candidates spoke at a forum about protecting democracy, "a decade after Citizens United."

Lawsuit: VA Payday Lender Pretended to be a Cop

September 7, 2007

Richmond, VA – Strong-arm tactics in the payday loan industry may have gone too far, according to a lawsuit filed this week in Virginia. It accuses a payday lender of pretending to be a law enforcement officer and threatening to arrest a borrower. Dana Wiggins, with the Virginia Partnership to Encourage Responsible Lending, says that's a story they hear too often, as people get trapped in loans with 300 percent interest rates.

"Other states and local governments have decided that there is not a place for those kinds of interest rates. We hope that in Virginia, people stand up and demand better."

There's a campaign in Virginia to cap payday loan interest rates at 36 percent, which is the same maximum percentage currently allowed by law for all other types of credit. Wiggins says closing the payday lending interest loophole will help consumers who are in tough spots.

"I understand that people need money in emergency situations, but unfortunately, in the case of a payday loan, they end up paying a lot more."

Later this month, Washington D.C. will cap its lending rates at 24 percent. The short-term loan industry says it does not endorse strong-arm tactics, and defends high interest rates as the only way its lenders can make money on the high-risk loan products it offers.

Deborah Smith/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - VA