Sunnyvale City Council to Vote on Restricting Payday Lending

Editor’s note: The CFPB, a federal agency, has proposed new rules for payday, car title, and high-cost installment lenders.


BUT, they need to hear from consumers- that means you! We have an easy-to-use page where you can weigh in- it only takes a minute and will help bring about important consumer protections with these loans. Please share a line or two in the comments box about why you care about this issue and want to see strong federal reforms.

PS: You do NOT have to be a payday, car title, or installment borrower to sign the petition.

Sunnyvale, September 23, 2013—The City Council of Sunnyvale will vote tomorrow night on an ordinance to restrict the growth of payday lenders by enacting a “cap” on the number of lenders, creating “buffer zones” between lenders, allowing payday lending only in designated areas, and establishing operational standards.

Marie Bernard, Executive Director of Sunnyvale Community Services, supports the ordinance. She explains, “We’ve worked directly with people caught in the ‘payday loan debt trap,’ who have taken out multiple loans with high fees and interest rates up to 459%. By enacting this ordinance, the City of Sunnyvale is making a strong  statement that we want to protect residents from predatory loan businesses.”

Liana Molina, the payday campaign organizer with the California Reinvestment Coalition, a member of the Coalition Against Payday Predators, (CAPP) explained, “By voting for this ordinance tomorrow, city councilmembers will stop the spread of predatory lending in Sunnyvale and join a state-wide movement of cities for payday reform.” CAPP has successfully advocated to limit payday lending in San Jose, Santa Clara County, Los Altos, and current efforts are under way in Gilroy.

Kyra Kazantzis, Directing Attorney at the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, also a member of CAPP, voiced her support: “Cities like Sunnyvale are taking courageous steps forward to address these modern day loan sharks.  These cities are sending a strong message to the California legislature that it should address the problem of payday lending at the state level.”  (A state bill, SB 515, would limit the number of loans a person can receive annually, and would lengthen the amount of time borrowers have to pay back the loan.)

Who: Sunnyvale City Council, community leaders, and financial justice advocates. Community leaders will be present to make public comment in support of the policy.

What: The City Council will vote on an ordinance to limit payday lenders in the city. The ordinance would create a “cap” of 6 payday lenders in the city (meaning no more than 6 payday lenders could be operating in the city at one time), create a “buffer zone” of at least 1,000 feet between payday lenders, allow payday lending only in highway business commercial zones, and create operational standards that new lending establishments would have to follow.

Why: The City Council wants to reduce the impact of these businesses by limiting their numbers, ensuring that the businesses are not located in residential area or concentrated in one particular location.

When:  Tuesday, September 23, 2013 at 7pm

Where: Council Chambers of City Hall, 456 W. Olive Ave, Sunnyvale CA, 94086

Additional Background:  The Coalition Against Payday Predators (CAPP) is a coalition of 10 local organizations working to end payday lending in Santa Clara County. The coalition has received endorsements from over 40 local organizations and is funded by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

The San Jose Mercury News (8/27/12), the Sacramento Bee (9/16/13), and the New York Times (9/15/13) have published editorials against payday lending.

The Long Beach City Council voted 8-0 last week on an ordinance limiting payday lending in their city.

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