February 6, 2013
The YWCA Central Alabama will be hosting a National Day of Action on Thursday, February 14th at 11:30 a.m. People from all across the Birmingham region are invited to gather together and call for changes to laws which allow certain lenders to charge predatory rates. These predatory loans have a devastating affect on our neighbors, and we want you to come out and lend your voice in the fight against abusive lending practices.
Too often, the YWCA sees the heart-wrenching impact of predatory lenders on the families we serve. In many Birmingham neighborhoods, too many people get caught in the devastating cycle of borrowing more and more to pay back their original loan. Because the YWCA believes that our laws need to protect families from usury we have partnered with Alabama Arise, Birmingham Faith in Action, Greater Birmingham Ministries and Alabama Appleseed to advocate for legislative change that will protect the families we serve.
"Right now there is a lot of momentum behind the effort to change the laws which allow certain lenders to charge outrageously high rates. Support for leveling the lending playing field is coming from Republicans and Democrats from across the state, and the YWCA is glad we are able to work for change that will improve the lives of the people we serve as well as folks all over our state," says Joan Witherspoon-Norris, Director of Social Justice.
Currently, in the state of Alabama, the Deferred Presentment Services Act (Alabama's payday lending law) allows interest rates of 456% APR on loans under $500, a rate almost 13 times prior limitations provided in the Small Loan Act. There is no moral or ethical justification for such exorbitant interest rates.
The goal of this partnership is to seek and gain passage of legislation repealing the Deferred Presentment Services Act. Such modification does not target any specific industry or business, it simply removes barriers to lending by reversing the special interests' carve-outs obtained through industry supported legislation (protecting known legislative personal interests), and would return all consumer loans under $1,000 to governance by the Small Loan Act.
Walk-ins are welcome, but RSVPs are appreciated so we can properly plan for seating and meals. If you plan to join us, please contact Jacob Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or (205) 322-9922 ext. 306 by February 11th.
Join the fight for fair lending practices in the state of Alabama. Educate yourself and others about predatory lending and its detrimental and long-lasting effects on Alabama citizens. Establish communication with your legislators. Contact your state representative and/or senator and express your concerns. To find out more other ways to advocate against predatory lending, click here.
The YWCA Central Alabama would like to thank Alabama Appleseed, Alabama Arise, Birmingham Faith in Action and Greater Birmingham Ministries for partnering to educate the Birmingham community about predatory lending. To learn more about the YWCA Central Alabama or to donate, please click here.