Payday loan reform advocates say unfair interest rates conflict with Christian morals

Payday loan reform advocates say unfair interest rates conflict with Christian morals
Source: WBRC Video
Source: WBRC Video
“Payday and Title Reform in Alabama" meeting held at the Canterbury United Methodist Church (Source: Judson Garner/WBRC)
“Payday and Title Reform in Alabama" meeting held at the Canterbury United Methodist Church (Source: Judson Garner/WBRC)
Source: Judson Garner/WBRC
Source: Judson Garner/WBRC

MOUNTAIN BROOK, AL (WBRC) - Many advocates for payday lending reform met in the first of two meetings called "Payday and Title Reform in Alabama" at the Canterbury United Methodist Church on Wednesday night.

State Representative Danny Garrett, an advocated for payday loan reform, spoke at the event.

"We just want fair lending practices. We want some sort of controls that make it fair and that you're not just preying upon people," he said.

Organizers of the event said they want to inform citizens on these payday and title loan businesses of what they claim are incredibly unfair interest rates that take advantage of the poor by charging interests that sometimes go over 400 percent.

Garrett and others say they want people to become aware of the issue and push for tougher regulations at the state level.

"Will be sending some legislation in the house and in the senate and will be looking for people to call their representatives and senators to get support to try to do this. We're not trying to do away with this industry," he said.

These advocates for payday lending reform would like to see that interest rate capped at 36 percent.

Garrett said it's not only unfair, it also conflicts with his Christian beliefs.

In 2003 legislation was passed to allow these types of lenders in the state and now this state has more of these lenders in the nation, according to a statement released by the YWCA.

Twenty states have outlawed the industries, and according to information presented at the meeting, roughly eight states have very tight regulations on payday loan businesses.

WBRC FOX6 News has reported on this issue in the past and owners of payday loan shops have told us they're small businesses that will shut down if they're over regulated and they serve a need in the community.

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