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Memphis News & Weather | Memphis, TN | WATN - localmemphis.com

MLGW is going to stop taking bill payments at paycheck lender offices

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – The head of Memphis Light, Gas and Water says he hears your concerns about these payday lending places where you can p...

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – The head of Memphis Light, Gas and Water says hehears your concerns about these payday lending places where you can pay yourbill.

These places are legal.

Ace Cash Express is a payday lender.

In a city where people have to bust their butts to get a buck,easily available loans are tempting. Even with high interest rates.

Again – all legal.

Memphis Light, Gas and Water CEO J.T. Young says “These areconvenient locations for customers to make payments, and because they maybe unbanked customers, the locations provide services that are normally notavailable to them.”

It is a fact of poverty. Those who don’t have money, often spendmore money than others, just to try and pay for the necessities of life.

A high interest loan for a person for a monthly payment can takemonths or years to repay.

Enter the Memphis City Council and their interest in all of this.

Young told council members, “We are aware of the concerns, andthere are concerns about what may happen.”

Just like other utilities, MLGW has a contract with an outsidecompany to set up places where folks can pay their bills. In this case, it’s acompany called First Tech.

They set up forty Kroger supermarkets where people can pay, and 30Ace Cash Express offices.

J.T. Young also says he has no idea how many Ace customers tookout a loan to pay their bills.

“We don’t have any information that tells us what actuallyhappens when a customer goes to make an MLGW payment in one of thoselocations,” he said. “I don’t have a way to know, but the informationI have is relatively few customers do that.”

It will take about 90 days to find replacement locations for the 30Ace Cash Express offices.