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      City plans to regulate the way Payday lenders do business

      The city plans to implement regulations to a certain group of businesses it says lacks many: credit access businesses.

      "The pawn shop is in an industry that's regulated, the banks are regulated and somehow these people have escaped under the radar," Mayor Paul Harpole said.

      Harpole said the city is aware of approximately 24 credit access businesses in town, and that it's time to "even out the playing field."

      "We are regulated very closely of what we can charge as far as interest rates, and so are the banks and so are the pawn shops," Harpole said. "So this group of businesses not being regulated is just not fair."

      According to City Attorney Marcus Norris, the ordinance city officials are proposing will mainly focus on the fees and finances of these specific loan lenders.

      "We would require the companies to register with our city, we would also require them to qualify consumers by percentage of income or on a title loan; the value of the car," Norris said.

      According to Norris the ordinance also requires businesses to have forms in both English and Spanish, or read out load to individuals who require the assistance.

      "We will also be requiring documentation to be retained there in the business in subject of city inspection during normal business hours," Norris said.

      The city has held two public hearings encouraging feedback from lenders, as well as consumers. According to Harpole nearly 100 individuals attended the first public hearing, but Tuesday's meeting had no response from the crowd.

      "I think we're trying to understand the problem, and if you take the input we got from the first public meeting there is definitely concern about this," Harpole said.