After undergoing a congregational development process in partnership with the North Texas IAF that involved 3,000 parishioners â€“ 600 of which participated in small group encounters led by 80 ministry leaders -- leaders of St. Joseph's Catholic Parish in Arlington, Texas were astounded by the number of stories about payday lending.
Dozens of "horror stories" detailed the debilitating effect of predatory loans on families, motivating parish leaders to work with their organizer address the problem locally. In October, parish leaders stood with the Texas Conference of Catholic Bishops to publicly launch a campaign calling on the City of Arlington to better regulate payday and title loan lending. And within one month, leaders -- along with allies -- celebrated success.
Arlington City Council members voted unanimously to become the first city in Tarrant County to "cap loans and require payday and auto title businesses to register and adhere to fair business practices."
Power of Community Action: Anti-Payday Loan Ordinances in Three Metropolitan Areas, University of Utah & University of New Mexico
Arlington is First in Tarrant to Regulate Payday, Auto Title Loans, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Editorial: Arlington Shows Courage on Payday Lending, Dallas Morning News
Bishop's Plea Pushes City on Predatory Lending, Star-Telegram
Arlington OKs Land Use Restrictions on Payday Lenders, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Catholic Church is Taking the Fight to Payday Lenders in Arlington, Dallas Morning News
Editorial: Hits and Misses, Dallas Morning News