Audit: State regulators don’t punish payday lenders

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SALT LAKE CITY -- A legislative audit has concluded that Utah regulators have found hundreds of examples of Payday Lenders skirting the law, with almost no punishment levied.

“We found that during the past five years before our audit, that the examiners had identified several hundred finable violations, but during those five years the department had only issued one fine,” said audit supervisor James Behunin.

Edward Leary, the Utah Commissioner of Financial Institutions, said he appreciated the audit, and his department was already implementing changes, though he said the burden would fall mostly on small business owners.

“Predominantly those violations are in the small mom and pop stores, so we would be fining the mom and pops,” Leary said.