Published by the Danville Register and Bee.
Time to rein in predatory lenders
To the editor:
Recently, I attended a community forum about predatory lending organized by Virginia Organizing and Virginia Poverty Law Center with a presentation from Virginia Legal Aid Society.
So why does predatory lending matter to me? Let me paint you a picture. A lot of people who haven’t seen poverty don’t understand it fully. On a part-time job that pays minimum wage, you need to pay rent, utilities, car payments and more. You are living paycheck to paycheck. You want to live a “normal” life. At Christmas, you want to give your child at least one gift they would like, but those bills add up. If you go to the bank for a small loan, they say your credit score is too low or you don’t make enough to qualify. Then you see an ad on TV or get an email with a special offer for a car title loan or payday loan. You take that loan with a plan to pay it off, but that plan goes awry. You fall in debt. Then you get frustrated and take it out on your friends and family. The debt and the harm it causes your family leads to poverty as a cycle.
Del. Danny Marshall sits on the committee that considers new regulations on predatory lenders, including new internet lenders. He heard our needs and voted for Medicaid expansion in 2018. He is still accountable to his constituents in Danville and knows what we are going through. Sir, please don’t abandon us on this. We need you to stop these lenders from hurting our community.
Put predatory lenders on notice
To the editor:
Virginia Organizing held a community workshop on Dec. 17 to talk about predatory lending. That includes payday loans, car title loans, some internet loans and more. Some of these loans charge over 200 percent interest. It does not make sense to add that kind of interest on a payday loan because some people cannot pay that when they are not working full time with the check they get every month.
We also learned about internet loans, where the lender can debit your bank account and take back way more than you borrowed. Those loans aren’t even legal in Virginia! We need to stop them from ripping people off.
The General Assembly can help make that happen. We’ll keep working with Virginia Poverty Law Center to make sure a good bill is introduced. I hope our representatives in Richmond — Del. Danny Marshall and Sen. Bill Stanley — will support us.