2009/06/03 Help Pass the Predatory Lending Consumer Protection Act

Take Action: Help Pass the  

Predatory Lending Consumer Protection Act

 

Before June 12, 2009

 

End the Debt Trap Caused by Predatory Lenders in Wisconsin:

Last week Representative Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) and Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) introduced a bill that would cap payday loans at 36% APR.  We need your help to ensure this bill becomes law this session! The first step to doing that is to encourage your state legislators to sign onto to this bill before June 12, 2009.

 

Please call and ask your state Senator and Representative to co-sponsor Representative Hintz’s Predatory Lending Consumer Protection Act (LRB 1920/2) before June 12, 2009. 

 

Click here to locate your legislators online. [http://www.legis.wisconsin.gov/w3asp/waml/waml.aspx]

 

You can also call the legislative hotline at 1-800-362-9472.

 

What does the bill do?

The Predatory Lending Consumer Protection Act (PLCPA) will provide protections against predatory lending by limiting interest rates for consumer loans to 36% annually.

 

Wisconsin Problem:

The payday-loan industry entered Wisconsin in 1993. By the end of 1995, two licensed payday lenders operated seventeen offices in the state. In 2004, there were 346 licensed payday lenders in Wisconsin. By 2008, the number of licensed payday lenders jumped to 530.  

 

Wisconsin payday lenders can charge triple-digit interest rates: in 2001, the average APR for a payday loan was 542.2%. In 2005, Wisconsin consumers paid an estimated $124 million in fees.  

 

Why is a 36% cap necessary?

Predatory payday lending is having devastating effects on our communities. It strips consumers of their income and traps them in a never-ending cycle of high-cost debt. A 36% cap costs taxpayers nothing and protects worker earnings and benefits.

 

Twice the limit for federally chartered credit unions, it is the same rate cap that was enacted by Congress in 2007 to protect our Military Service Members and their families through the Military Lending Act, after the Pentagon reported that widespread abuse of military borrowers by predatory lenders was hurting military families and undermining military readiness.

 

Fifteen states and the District of Columbia either prohibit payday lending completely or have established two-digit limits on interest rates.

 

Wisconsin is currently the only state in the country where there is no rate cap for licensed lenders.

 

Tips & Hints:

  • Before you call, familiarize yourself with the issue. Visit Wisconsinites for Responsible Lending for more information: http://www.consumer-action.org/coalition/articles/wrl/
  • When you call, generally a staff employee or intern will answer the phone – not your legislator.  That is OK – just ask them to pass this on to your legislator.
  • Be prepared to give them your contact information (full name, phone number and address).  They will want to make sure you are a constituent in their district.
  • Be prepared to tell them why this is important to you
    • if you or a family or friend have a story to share please do
    • it will matter a lot more to your legislator if they know how the payday lender problem affects their constituents
  • Make sure you call both your state Senator and your state Representative

 

When you call your legislator’s office:

·        Give them your name and let them know that you live in their district

·        Ask them to sign on as a co-sponsor to Representative Hintz’s Predatory Lending Consumer Protection Act (LRB 1920/2) before June 12, 2009.

·        If they have already signed on then thank them for being a supporter.

 

 

Call your legislators today!

 

 

Social Action Connection

Madison-area Urban Ministry, 2300 South Park Street, No. 5, Madison, WI 53713

PHONE: 608-256-0906 EMAIL: mum@emum.org FAX: 608-256-4387 WEB www.emum.org