“They didn’t read the contract, they didn’t understand or whatever. But just from a Christian standpoint, that what’s Jesus came to do, to help the lowly,” Robin Collins from Green Valley United Methodist Church said. “He came to help the sick, He didn’t come to help the well. So we’re supposed to take care of our brothers and sisters, take care of a widow, take care of an orphan.”
Members of the payday lending industry say they are unfairly stigmatized and provide much-needed access to quick credit that traditional banks or lending institutions do not. Their arguments are bolstered by dozens of lobbyists and hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions to top candidates.
Still, it’s been more than a decade since the last substantial changes to consumer protection laws on high-interest loans, and advocates — primarily general welfare groups like the Legal Aid of Southern Nevada, a cadre of progressive organizations and the faith-based coalition Nevadans for the Common Good — are looking to the 2019 Legislature as a chance to push for new consumer protections and limits on high-interest lenders.
[Photo Credit: David Calvert, Nevada Independent]
After 2017 Shortcomings, Advocates Prepare to Push for New Consumer Protections on Payday Loans, Nevada Independent
Leaders with 'Nevadans for the Common Good' have begun building a constituency of voters who are educated about the dangers of payday lending by holding civic academies on the subject. The next civic academy is scheduled to take place at Las Vegas University United Methodist Church.
Community Groups Urge Nevadans to Learn Risks of Payday Loans, Public News Service
DAI leaders from Richardson, Garland and North Dallas engaged Democratic primary challengers in Congressional District 32, and Republican candidates for Senate District 2 and House Districts 114 and 102 . Leaders secured pledges around local control of payday lending ordinances and restoration of state funding to public schools and workforce development.
Leaders publicly called on Governor Mary Fallin to veto the bill, on television and in writing arguing, as did Fr. Tim Luschen, that the bill is "not anything that can make our community a better place."Read more
"Catholic congregations and leaders ...were central in the push for payday lending reform in nearby Arlington. Father Daniel Kelley of St. Joseph Catholic Church was particularly influential. In addition, the Texas Catholic Conference, the public policy voice of Texas' Catholic bishops, worked directly on payday lending reform at the state and local level, and also participated in Dallas Area Interfaith and Faith Leaders for Fair Lending.Read more
"I am concerned as a pastor with both the usurious nature of these loans, and the everyday experience of those we serve in our charitable ministries. All four of the Gospel writers included references to the anger Jesus had for the money changers in the temple. It is this same righteous anger that motivates my brother bishops and I to cry out for justice for those exploited by this industry."Read more
In an effort to save fellow parishioners, neighbors and friends from falling into "the debt trap," Catholic Bishop Placido Rodriguez and WTOS leaders called for payday lending to be regulated in Lubbock and across the nation. Argued the Bishop of the Catholic Lubbock Diocese, "this practice is so predatory and ...creates so much hardship for families."
Catholic Church Battling Predatory Lending, Lubbock Avalanche JournalRead more
Agenda 2016: Community Leaders' Top Priorities for 2016, San Antonio Express News
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.Read more