3OYS prompts new legislation about payday loans

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- A recent 3 On Your Side report has inspired some legislative action.

The story had to do with payday loans and although Arizona outlawed those types of loans a few years back, the after-effects are still lingering with their collection practices.

After seeing how it's affected Valley residents, a state representative decided something had to be done.

Arizona State Representative Debbie McCune-Davis is trying to create a law, all because of a recent 3 On Your Side Report she saw.

"You deserve to be patted on the back, you did a good job in reporting something that's very unfair," Representative McCune-Davis said.

The news report she's referring to has to do with Robin Eyman, who was profiled in 3 On Your Side last month.
Robin had gotten into financial trouble a few years ago and was forced to take out a $500 payday loan.
She had trouble paying the loan back and the issue was handed over to a debt collector who managed to squeeze $863 out of Eyman which included interest and fees.
But even after paying off the loan Robin kept getting threatening collection calls.
"He proceeds to tell me that he's going after me for fraud," Robin said.

Robin was scared and actually paid off the loan a second time by handing over $1,100.
And believe it or not, she was pursued again and told to pay a third time.

That is, until 3 On Your Side got involved and stopped this mess from spinning further out of control.
And that's exactly why Representative McCune-Davis wants legislation to keep this from happening to other Arizonans.

"Once a debt is paid off, you need to be left alone," Representative McCune-Davis said.

Currently, the state lawmaker says there's nothing in the books to protect consumers like Robin or to keep debts from being bundled and sold to numerous debt collectors which is what happened in Robin's case.
So Representative McCune-Davis is drafting a bill and introducing it to lawmakers next week.

"What I'm trying to do with this bill is to make it clear that there has to be a process to determine whether the debt is owed before a consumer is pursued and if they are pursued beyond that point the AG [Attorney General's Office] can get involved and stop the practice," Representative McCune-Davis said.

Representative McCune-Davis said she feels something must be done to prevent others from going through what Eyman went through.

"If we see predatory activity, we want to put an end to that," Representative McCune-Davis said.