RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is conducting a field hearing in Richmond on payday lending. The hearing Thursday will feature remarks from the bureau’s director, Richard Cordray, and Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring. Consumer groups, advocates for the poor and industry representatives are also expected to speak, as well as members of the public. Observers say the bureau could issue guidance or possibly proposed regulations for payday lending. Critics of payday lending say short-term, high-interest loans prey on the poor. Defenders counter that they offer an option for people who find themselves in a desperate financial fix.