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Costly Cash: The Feds Won't Protect You From Payday Loans

In the wake of the mortgage loan mess and financial crisis, Congress was hot to regulate this business. But the federal-level effort has lost steam, partly because lawmakers seem to have come around to the industry's point of view rather than the consumer's.

Costly Cash: In Texas, Towns Try Zoning Out Payday Lenders

Several have taken it upon themselves to restrict money stores. Most have passed zoning laws that prevent them from expanding into new locations in their city without a special permit. Says Brownsville's mayor: "Our most vulnerable citizens are easy prey for these legal loan sharks, and we want to protect our citizens by regulating them."

How a Retiree Wound Up With a 375% Loan

Preston White needed $5,000 to help his daughter relocate after serving in Iraq. Denied by his bank, he got his cash (but only $4,000) at his local Cash Store via a one-month loan. With fees and interest, he'd need to repay %5,268.50 -- giving him a 375% APR. But that's not the end of the story.