“So if there is a deal, who am I to stop somebody from taking an item out of their house, taking it to a pawnshop, and trying to get some money from it?” might need to pay for food, gas, a car or a mortgage? ?” He asked.
Blanc said she sees the problem from a different perspective.
“Isn’t it our role as a state agency to protect consumers from paying high interest? ” she asked.
“It’s our job to protect consumers, absolutely,” Kern replied. “But on the other hand, the free market will dictate what that interest rate will be.”
The bottom line, he said, is that people are free to shop around and find one store that maybe costs less than another. Kern called the bill “free market reform in a free market society”.
Blanc argued that the Arizonans have told lawmakers they want caps on interest rates.
In 2008, voters decided to kill the payday lending industry, which charged annual interest rates above 400%, despite lenders spending more than $ 17 million on the campaign to keep it alive.
But representative Mark Finchem, of R-Oro Valley, said the bottom line is that no one is forced to do business with a pawnshop. “We have to remember that this is a free will decision that they come in,” he said. “It is not because he is available that he is a predator. “