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Crain’s NY Business: Lobby Looks to Cash In

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Crain’s New York Business

Letter to the Editor

Check cashers try lending a hand” (Aug. 18) paints a misleadingly rosy picture of the check-cashing lobby’s motivations. For years, it has pushed for a carve-out in our state usury law for check cashers to make usurious, short-term loans at triple-digit rates. It deceptively presents the bill as capping interest at 25%, when in fact it would allow fees that enable check cashers to charge more than 200% on certain loans.

Department of Financial Services Superintendent Benjamin Lawsky is doing the right thing by blocking authorization of these predatory loans. The check cashers are not trying to “lend a hand”—they are trying to dupe the Legislature into exempting them from longstanding state usury protections so they can exploit low-income New Yorkers.

—Josh Zinner
Co-director, New Economy Project