City Ponders Tougher Rules For Check Cashing Stores

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, March 30, 2009

More than 50 cash-advance stores are peppered throughout the city. Critics like community activist Ronald Coleman say they charge high fees…and are concentrated in neighborhoods with low-income residents. 

“…and have specifically targeted them to get them engaged in a pattern of borrowing money which will continue to rip assets out of their communities. I would ask that you stop these establishments from terrorizing our neighborhoods.” 

The City Council already approved a moratorium on new stores back in 2007. This latest plan would ban new stores within 1,000 feet of another store, church, school or bank. The check-cashing industry says that’s not fair. 

Adama Iwu is with Advance America – one of the largest payday lenders in the country.

“We locate ourselves in neighborhoods and in places that are convenient for our customers. If this goes into effect, there’s basically nowhere in Sacramento that, if we want to do any remodeling that we’d be allowed to or if we wanted to open a new store that we’d be able to that’s not going to run into your distance requirements.”

The City Council is scheduled to hold a public hearing on the issue on Tuesday.