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Fighting the vicious loan cycle

Fighting the vicious loan cycle

3 dozen hear arguments for petitions to limit "payday loans'

January 13th, 2012 in News

W.T. Edmonson, center, president of Jefferson City Congregations United, listens as Anne Schneider of First Presbyterian Church gives a presentation about predatory lending in Missouri during an Interfaith Call To Action: Fair Lending for Mid-Missouri Families event at the Catholic Pastoral Center on Thursday.

Photo by Kris Wilson

Amanda is a single mom with two kids, a job that pays a little over $14,000 a year take-home pay, a new $10,000 car loan - and four payday loans out, totaling about $2,400.

Marilyn DeFeo, volunteer director of the Samaritan Center, reported Thursday night: "I have talked with these (payday loan) gentlemen, trying to get them to negotiate down a loan, (but) there is just no "give' to these folks."

For people of faith, said Molly Fleming-Pierre, Policy and Development Organizer for the Kansas City-based Communities Creating Opportunity, "we know that the Bible is clear about this - that God views usury as against our traditions. And that's not just in the Judeo-Christian tradition that I think most folks in this room represent - it's in every tradition that I've searched under."

The Jefferson City Congregations Uniting members are seeking to become more active in fighting Mid-Missouri social problems, they said, and many stayed after Thursday night's meeting to learn how to circulate the initiative petitions.

News Tribune Facebook Question

Members of the group Jefferson City Congregations Uniting gathered Thursday to hear arguments to start petitions against high-interest "payday loans." How should these loans be restricted, and what dangers do you see from them?

Go to the News Tribune Facebook Page to answer this question and read others' responses.