U.S. House Committee on Financial Services

Cracking down on payday loans

Cracking down on payday loans

Fear not, boardwalk vacationers. Labor Day may be approaching, but one of summer's favorite pastimes, the Whac-A-Mole game, is getting an extended run. We speak, of course, of Maryland's unceasing efforts to protect consumers from unscrupulous payday lenders.

Just like those varmints that pop up unpredictably — and must be hammered with authority — these modern-day Shylocks charging their 400 percent interest rates are not easily thwarted. Since 2005, every state in the union has adopted laws banning such loans, yet an estimated 12 million Americans are trapped in the payday lending cycle.

Maryland, which has had a limit on consumer loan interest rates for several decades, had...