Payday lending meeting called as Metro mulls change
A community meeting on Saturday will put Metro Council representatives face-to-face with residents to discuss legislation that could restrict pawnshops and payday lending businesses.
The Neighborhoods Resource Center will host the meeting at 1 p.m. Saturday at 1312 Third Ave. North.
Council members Fabian Bedne, Jacobia Dowell and Karen Johnson are scheduled to attend. They are sponsoring legislation that would change Davidson County zoning to limit the size of financial institutions to 2,500 square feet and create a distance requirement of a quarter-mile between such businesses.
The proposal cites a Chattanooga study that found payday lenders can reduce property values and a federal study that shows the businesses tend to locate in disproportionately minority areas.
“If you allow a certain industry to cluster within a block or small geographical area and create a financial drain, it creates an economically blighted and distressed area,” said Johnson, who represents a South Nashville district between the airport and Percy Priest Lake.
The bill has been through one reading before the council and is scheduled to be next considered by the Metro Planning Commission on Oct. 23, before going before the council again on Nov. 4.
In April, a payday lending forum in Nashville drew hundreds — in opposition to and in defense of the industry. The federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau shared data at the meeting showing that loans are typically less than $500 at annualized interest rates of nearly 400 percent, with four out of every five loans rolled over or renewed.
Reach Tony Gonzalez at 615-259-8089 and on Twitter @tgonzalez.