KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri regulators are again considering whether to stop payday lenders from collecting utility bill payments from their customers.

The Kansas City Star reports (http://bit.ly/1kCBY6i ) critics contend cash-strapped customers might find it easy take out loans to pay the bills and end up paying the high interest rates charged by payday lenders.

Utilities contend it's a convenient way for their customers to pay their bills, and payday lenders say very few people take out loans to pay their bills.

The staff of the Missouri Public Service Commission is expected to present a report next month with a recommendation on whether the practice should be allowed to continue.

The issue has been controversial for years. The commission studied it in 2009 and 2011 before deciding not to ban the practice.

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Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com