COLUMBUS (AP) — In a victory for payday lenders, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that a two-week loan to an Elyria man that imposed more than 235-percent interest is not prohibited under Ohio’s mortgage lending laws.
In a unanimous decision, the court sent Rodney Scott’s case against Ohio Neighborhood Finance, owner of Cashland stores, back to the trial court for further proceedings. He would have paid interest of less than $6 if he’d paid back the loan on time, but faced the higher fees after missing his payment.
Advocates for Scott sought to close a lending loophole that has allowed such payday-style loans to continue as interest-bearing mortgage loans despite a state crackdown on predatory short-term lending passed in 2008.
The high-stakes case was closely watched by both lenders and by consumer groups that lobbied for the 2008 law and successfully defended it against a repeal effort on that year’s ballot.