An effort to permit North Carolina's licensed installment lenders to charge higher interest rates on many customers is back before a legislative committee two years after a similar bill died following opposition by the military.
The Senate Commerce Committee scheduled debate Tuesday on a measure that the consumer finance industry says it needs to stay profitable and stop a hemorrhage of jobs. Consumer advocates say the installment lenders are doing fine and argue too many of their borrowers are in a cycle of debt.
A 2011 bill barely passed the House and went nowhere else as military commanders in the state argue it could hurt young soldiers, sailors and Marines naive about seeking credit. The industry says it's inserted some consumer protection provisions in the bill for service members.