Archive for the ‘Payday lending’ Category

by Pete Talbot

It appears you can buy the Montana Constitution. Witness CI-105.

Here’s how it’s done: select your special interest initiative; make sure there isn’t an organized, moneyed constituency to oppose it; spend a ton on TV, radio and mailings; threaten a loss of equity in your home and a tax increase, and do it during a recession.

The stars aligned for Montana Realtors and their mouthpiece, the Chicago-based National Association of Realtors. (It was the national association that pumped more than $2 million into this race, which is something like 99% of the money spent on this campaign.)

Now we have a constitutional amendment that benefits a narrow, self-interested industry. And we’re hamstrung if we ever want to use a real estate transfer tax to balance a budget or mitigate other, more onerous taxes or maybe get a few dollars out of those second or third million-dollar McMansions that sprout up in exclusive Montana resorts.

Speaking of the Montana Constitution, it did my heart proud to see voters reject the initiative to rewrite our constitution. Our constitution is an excellent document that was hammered out in a bipartisan manner in 1972 and it endures. And fiscally speaking, a rewrite is an expense we don’t need during these tough budgetary times.

I was pleased to see I-164 pass. This ballot initiative put a 36% interest cap on payday loans. The libertarian voice in my head said, hey, if someone wants to pay an exorbitant interest rate for a short-term loan, what the heck. But, Wulfgar! summed up my final thoughts on this initiative:

Yes, 300% (more) interest is way too high. I get that. There still needs to be an alternative for the working poor … (snip) … Hopefully, I-164 will open a gap into which others will move. As a society, we often focus on the fact that these folks are poor, and ignore that they are working, very hard most often. They need a safety net as much as anyone else. Payday lenders have given them that. Passing I-164 won’t alleviate the need for such. It will only appease a symptom, and certainly not cure the disease.

Finally, I-161, the outfitter v. local hunter initiative. I called hunter friends and family members, and got opinions all over the map, literally and figuratively. I heard more dissension and debate on this initiative than the other three combined … but this is Montana, after all.  To be honest, since I’m one of the few Montana males who doesn’t hunt, or so it seems, I didn’t lose any sleep over this one. I voted against it and my wife voted for it, so we canceled each other out. The initiative passed 185,546 to 159,346, apparently freeing up more licenses for resident hunters but not really dealing with the bigger issue of hunter access.


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by problembear

for most of us there is no need to go into long explanations about why we need to vote for capping the interest rate for payday lenders. it is kind of a natural gut reaction for most people to hate sharks. but if you feel that it’s ok to charge 300 to 650% interest to dangle easy money in front of  folks who can barely scrape by and then trap them in a cycle of debt that reaps huge profits for predominately out of state loan sharks then by all means support the payday lenders.

payday lenders have reached out to touch family members and friends of most of us here in montana. we know from experience that these loans rarely help anyone in chronic poverty and they are even more destructive for people struggling to survive a recession.  in many cases payday lenders make a desperate situation for our most vulnerable low wage workers much more difficult.

only three more days to git ‘er done montana. let’s stop rewarding bad behavior and make these slimy merchants work within a reasonable regulated market place. please vote yes on I-164 and cap the payday lending rate to 36%

montana is just too good to allow this feeding frenzy on our poor anymore.

by problembear

thanks to the missoulian editorial board for recognizing the importance of capping the interest rate on payday lenders and for supporting citizen’s ballot  initiative 164 in the upcoming Nov 2 election.

it is so well written that i want to provide some excerpts….

“While Montana law does prohibit borrowers from taking out more than one loan at a time, borrowers often “flip” or “churn” their loans by taking one out right after another to keep caught up with their repayments. In fact, according to Montana Women Vote, the average borrower in the U.S. will “flip” their loans eight times in a year and pay a total of $800 for a $300 loan. These borrowers essentially remain perpetually in debt to payday lenders. According to the Center for Responsible Lending, a full 76 percent of the total annual volume of payday loans in this country is comprised of churned loans.”

and this….

” The Montana Division of Banking and Financial Institutions reports that last year, payday lenders issued nearly 150,000 loans and raked in $7.5 million in interest and fees from fewer than 35,000 borrowers. That’s an average of four loans per borrower.”

payday lenders prey on the most vulnerable of our working poor by keeping them in debt with onerous interest rates that should shame anyone with a conscience. thanks missoulian, for recognizing this and urging our support of CI -164.

 


by problembear

when you are writing a script it is imperative that characters are well drawn and understandable to the audience. but that is not enough. if there is no tension or if the opposing characters are not evenly matched it is boring and too predictable and people soon lose interest.

now that payday lenders are finding it difficult to argue that interest rates that average 400%  for our working poor are reasonable they are resorting to their worn out script ….

“but where will the poor credit challenged go without us?”

and their companion piece….  “it will put our employees out of work.”

these be dragons folks. in other words, they are a concoction of imagination by payday lenders to make you think that these concerns are real.

now, i think a little plot twist at the end is very important in fiction, but in real life, these two dragons are mythical. first. i have never seen a law stop anyone from making money. you can’t tell me that 36% interest is not profitable and reasonable. second. many states (19 so far) have enacted similar laws and people still seem to survive just fine without being charged 400% interest. and the employees simply move where the money goes.

the thing about payday loans that is never examined is the ease with which they are taken out. ten minutes and no credit check. why? because at 400% interest the payday lenders are making so much that the few people who slip through their formidable collection net are simply meaningless and statistically irrelevant.

but let me ask one question…. what does it say about a nation that allows this slip-knot of easy money which traps people who cannot easily pay the original loan amount into a cycle of debt in the first place? it says that it is ok to be irresponsible with money. it says go ahead and ruin your credit all you want. it says eat live and be merry for tomorrow you die. it says why be an ant who saves for the winter when you can be a grasshopper who dies at the first sign of frost. payday lending  is simply not a healthy thing for our kids working low-pay jobs and our seniors on social security to turn to. it further impoverishes them to the point that already overly burdened non-profits during this recession must step in and support them.

the arguments of the payday lenders are false. beware the dragon…..it sells people on a false fairy tale of easy money that turns into a fire-breathing dragon in the end.

by problembear

apparently not.

this author spent some time with the king of the slime devils himself – allan jones. i don’t envy the poor author.

i doubt if there are enough showers in a lifetime to wash that visit off.

last time i checked, there are 5 of allan’s little torture chambers scattered around montana. i can’t wait until montana sends this guy a message loud and clear…..

montana is too good for your kind…. now get the hell out.


by problembear

the citizens of montana take their right to vote very seriously, and we don’t like it much when somebody tries to take that right to vote away from us.

if the citizen’s initiative process has taught me anything it has taught me that the people of the state of montana know better than their leaders how to lead. i am assuming a huge thing here, given that payday lenders are determined to try to rob montanans of the opportunity to vote on I-164 to cap the rate on payday lenders via the courts. i am assuming we will be successful in defeating the payday lenders no matter what the courts decide.

why? because the payday lenders have gone too far by suing us to prevent us from voting on this issue. no matter what , the people of this state do not appreciate special interests getting in the way of our voting rights. so i assume that the increasing anger toward payday lenders will only become more vehement if they are temporarily successful in stopping this measure.

the bipartisanship support exhibited by montana’s legislators toward passage of this measure also gives me hope  because no matter how the courts rule, the legislature cannot help but see the 85% support accross montana for this initiative and pass a similar bill in the upcoming legislature.

payday lenders have gone too far in montana with their legal shenanigans and questionable tactics.  it may or may not delay passage of this much needed bill, but their arrogance has earned them even more anger from the citizenry and leadership of montana over an industry which is already despised in this state.

one way or another, the people of this state will finally rise up and demand that the predation and greed which is victimizing the most vulnerable of our seniors on fixed incomes and our low wage workers must stop. the payday lenders are simply sealing their own doom with their army of out of state lawyers trying to get between the citizens of this state and our voting booth.




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