Saturday, August 1, 2015

National Internet 'payday' lender stopped by PA: Update

Cash American International Inc. has stopped lending money to Pennsylvanians at interest rates topping 1,000% after Commonwealth Court narrowly upheld a state order to get a license and cut the rate to 24%

National Internet 'payday' lender stopped by PA: Update


UPDATE: As reported Thursday by the Inquirer and, Cash America has appealed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and asked to resume making payday loans to Pennsylvanians online. We'll update if they win.

EARLIER: Cash America International Inc., Fort Worth, has stopped lending money to Pennsylvanians at interest rates that top 1000% a year from its Web site,, after Commonwealth Court ruled 4-3 last week that the Pennsylvania Banking Department acted legally in ordering the company (and others like it) to get a lending license and respect the state's 24% annual interest limit, said department spokesman Dan Egan.

Cash America's online loan business, like its network of U.S. and Mexico offices, charge 25% fees on short-term loans, usually under $1,000, that come due in one to five weeks. That works out to as much as 1,141% interest on an annual basis, according to the court decision.

The company testified it earned $20 million from high-interest, short-term loans in Pennsylvania in 2007 and 2008, according to the court decision and lawyer Robert L. Byer, the Duane Morris LLP partner who represented Pennsylvania with his associates Robert Palumbos and Jennifer Diesing-Falcey.

If so, publicly-traded Cash America stands to lose a big chunk of its profits: The company earned $81 million last year, and $79 million the year before. But Cash America hasn't reported a material impact from the case, beyond a statement in its annual report, before the decision, calling the state's case "without merit". Spokeswoman Yolanda Walker said general counsel Curtis Linscott is weighing an appeal to the PA Supreme Court. Ballard Spahr represented the company.

Interesting: A different group of Duane Morris lawyers represents some of the payday-lender defendants in an unrelated federal class-action lawsuit, Yulon Clerk vs Cash America (2: 09-cv-02245-MAM)

We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy: comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog

PhillyDeals posts drafts, transcripts and updates of Joseph N. DiStefano's columns and stories about Philly-area business, which he's been writing since 1989.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn and taught writing at St. Joseph's. He has written thousands of columns and articles for the Inquirer, Bloomberg and other media, wrote the book Comcasted, and raised six children with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at,, 215.854.5194 or 302.652.2004.

Reach Joseph N. at or 215 854 5194.

Joseph N. DiStefano
Also on
letter icon Newsletter