Debtors' prisons were federally banned in 1833, but over a third of states in 2011 allowed late borrowers to be jailed. In Texas, some payday loan companies file criminal complaints against late borrowers. Texas courts and prosecutors become de facto collections agencies that warn borrowers that they could face arrest, criminal charges, jail time, and fines. On top of the debts owed, district attorneys charge additional fees. Threatening to pursue criminal charges against borrowers is illegal when a post-dated check is involved, but using checks dated for the day the loan is given allows lenders to claim theft. Borrowers have been jailed for owing as little as $200. Most borrowers who failed to pay had lost their jobs or had their hours reduced at work.
Under Ohio law, a Credit Service Organization is an organization that, among other things, helps consumers find loans. There is no cap on the fee that the Credit Service Organization may charge for its services. In the standard payday lending contract, you agree that you are hiring a Credit Service Organization to "find" the loan for you, and that the payday lender is "accepting" your payment to the Credit Service Organization.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no check cashing business licensed under this article shall directly or indirectly charge or collect fees for check cashing services in excess of the following: (a) Three percent of the face amount of the check or $5, whichever is greater, for checks issued by the federal government, state government, or any agency of the state or agency of the state or federal government, or any county or municipality of this state; (b) Ten percent of the face amount of the check or $5, whichever is greater, for personal checks; or (c) Five percent of the face amount of the check or $5, whichever is greater, for all other checks, or for money orders.
Banking deregulation in the late 1980s caused small community banks to go out of business. This created a void in the supply of short-term microcredit, which was not supplied by large banks due to lack of profitability. The payday loan industry sprang up in order to fill this void and to supply microcredit to the working class at expensive rates.
The Center for Responsible Lending found that almost half of payday loan borrowers will default on their loan within the first two years. Taking out payday loans increases the difficulty of paying the mortgage, rent, and utility bills. The possibility of increased economic difficulties leads to homelessness and delays in medical and dental care and the ability to purchase drugs. For military men, using payday loans lowers overall performance and shortens service periods. To limit the issuance of military payday loans, the 2007 Military Lending Act established an interest rate ceiling of 36% on military payday loans. A 2013 article by Dobbie and Skiba found that more than 19% of initial loans in their study ended in default. Based on this, Dobbie and Skiba claim that the payday loan market is high risk.