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RICHMOND, Va. – A bill introduced by Virginia state Delegate Harvey Morgan (R-98) that would have strengthened the state’s payday lending law made it as far as being referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce and Labor after being passed by the state House last month, but died in committee. Alda Wilkenson, SVP of Governmental Affairs and Public Relations for the Virginia Credit Union League said Morgan’s bill – HB 1156 – was discussed fully in the Senate Committee, and after the discussion a vote was taken “to pass it by indefinitely.” Wilkenson said that means the measure is dead. Morgan’s bill would have required the State Corporation Commission to create an Internet database with real-time access for payday lenders that would allow them to determine if a prospective borrower already has a loan outstanding or has closed a loan within the previous 24 hours. The SCC would be permitted to charge a $1 fee per transaction. Virginia’s payday lending law prohibits lenders from loaning more than $500 at one time and forbids them from rolling over or refinancing loans and making more than one loan to a consumer at any one time. Morgan’s bill was intended to give the state a way to enforce those provisions. HB 1156 also required payday lenders to maintain an internal common database and check the Commission’s database to verify compliance with the prohibition. It also prohibited a licensee from making a payday loan to a spouse of a member of the armed forces when the loan is secured against that member’s pay unless a special power of attorney signed by the member of the armed forces is provided authorizing the loan.

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