More than a decade after North Carolina became the first state to outlaw payday lending, legislators and lobbyists are pushing to legalize the short-term, high-cost loans.
Industry supporters say the loans usually paid with a borrower's next paycheck offer a reasonable, government-regulated option for people who need cash and have nowhere else to turn. Consumer advocates say the loans and fees can trap consumers in a cycle of perpetual debt.
North Carolina lawmakers of both parties for years periodically pushed bringing payday lend back to the state.
The industry this year has pumped up its efforts, hiring 10 lobbyists including former state House Speaker Harold Brubaker and former state Republican Party Chairman Tom Fetzer.