Faith Leaders Unite Against This Detestable, Soon-to-Be-Legal Practice

by | Feb 8, 2018 | Politics

As Florida lawmakers move a bill legalizing a new 200 percent interest payday loan through legislative committees, faith leaders are urging them to kill the bill and get serious about reforming predatory lending in the state.

An open letter signed by 56 faith leaders from across the state, along with the AME Church of Florida (consisting of more than 400 churches), National Baptist Convention USA Inc., Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and Ecumenical Poverty Initiative, asks lawmakers to stand up for Floridians and against predatory lenders by voting against SB 920/HB 857. That proposal would let Florida payday lenders make larger, more expensive loans in addition to those that already flood low-income communities in the state.

As described in the letter:

Predatory payday lenders cause serious damage to our communities. They target and exploit those in the most vulnerable situations by giving them high-interest loans. These loans, which often carry triple-digit interest, trap borrowers in an unaffordable cycle of debt. Often these borrowers come to our churches and community services after payday lenders have already drained all their financial resources and crushed their spirits. This is detrimental to both the borrowers’ financial security, emotional and financial strength of families and our ability to provide aid to our community.

In a conference call this morning, several of those leaders spoke out against the bill, citing cases where members of their congregations had been caught in the debt trap of payday lending. On the call were Rev. Rachel Gunter Shapard, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Florida; Bishop Adam J. Richardson, 11th District of the AME Church, Florida; Pastor Lee Harris, Mt. Olive Primitive Baptist in Jacksonville; Elder Wayne Wright, who has been personally impacted by payday loans; Rev. Dr. Russell Meyer, Florida Council of Churches and Bishop Teresa Jefferson-Snorton, 5th District of the CME Church, Florida.

The proposal would allow loans twice as large as the current limit, up to $1,000, with 60- to 90-day terms and annual interest rates over 200%. According to an analysis from the Florida Office of Financial Regulation, a borrower in debt for 60 days currently pays $110 in fees for $1,000, but would pay $214.68 under SB 920. And payday loans financially devastate borrowers because they are structured to keep them paying the triple-digit fees over months or years, whether they are short or longer-term loans.

A representative of Amscot, a large payday lender, testified at a committee hearing that his company needs the new law because the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released a new rule impacting his business. That rule would require payday lenders to assess the ability of borrowers to repay their loans, something most lenders already do. The rule is not scheduled to take effect until August of 2019, and it is under attack by members of Congress and the new director of the Consumer Bureau, so it may not ever be put into place.

The Florida NAACP, the AARP, the Florida Catholic Conference, National Association of Latino Community Asset Builders, Florida Prosperity Partnership, Florida Veterans for Common Sense, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Florida, UnidosUS, Florida Hispanic Unity, Florida Legal Services, League of Southeastern Credit Unions and many others are among the many groups who oppose legalizing a product that would snare borrowers in a debt trap even deeper and more damaging than traditional payday loans.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

How Prophetic Evangelism Is Impacting Change in Today’s Culture

How Prophetic Evangelism Is Impacting Change in Today’s Culture

Dr. Candice Smithyman, host of Manifest His Presence on the Charisma Podcast Network, recently interviewed apostle Stacey Campbell, founder of Shiloh Global about how prophecy can impact today’s culture. Apostle Campbell is passionate about teaching young people and...

Joyce Meyer’s Daughter: ‘I Tried Until I Almost Died!’

Joyce Meyer’s Daughter: ‘I Tried Until I Almost Died!’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xc14ip0XyOw Growing up as the daughter of Dave and Joyce Meyer, Sandra McCollom knew about God’s goodness and unconditional love. “At eight years old, I remember sitting on the floor as my mom shared her faith with me. That’s when I...

Prophet: 10 Essential Guardrails for Hearing God’s Voice

Prophet: 10 Essential Guardrails for Hearing God’s Voice

In the journey of hearing God's voice today effectively and accurately, you need the practical and personal work of the Holy Spirit. Jesus clearly told his followers that those who hear His words and put them into practice are wise! "Whoever hears these sayings of...

Prophetic Vision: Three Tables Are Set

Prophetic Vision: Three Tables Are Set

Recently as I was worshipping the Lord, I went into a vision where I could see I was in a dark and very deep valley. It was nighttime, and the valley was surrounded by tall mountains. On the top of each I could see the outlines of men and instinctively knew they were...

How Your Apostolic and Prophetic Worship Will Hurt the Enemy

How Your Apostolic and Prophetic Worship Will Hurt the Enemy

We are living in a time where it seems that dreams and visions are accelerating. The enemy fights against prophetic insight being poured out according to Joel 2:28-32. Numerous deliverance ministries have risen up to combat the ‘Pandora's box’ that was released in...

Is He a God of Wrath or a God of Love?

Is He a God of Wrath or a God of Love?

Do you think the God of the Old Testament is a God of wrath, and the God of the New Testament is a God of love? The truth is that God is the same throughout the entire Bible. His wrath and His love are revealed in both the Old and the New Testaments. So why, then, did...

How You Can Have a Perfect Heart

How You Can Have a Perfect Heart

Your heart is the most important part of you. It’s not only a physical organ that keeps your blood pumping, but when the Bible refers to the heart, it’s talking about who you really are. Each person has an inner and an outer life. There’s the person we show to...

RECENT ARTICLES

Cindy Jacobs Prophesies: The Lord Says, ‘Am I Not the Mender of Broken Hearts?’

I was just praying and asking the Lord, “How can I encourage you all today?” I know there are so many challenges out there, but this is what the Lord said to me. The Lord said, “There are some...
How the FBI Raid on Mar-a-Lago Is Spiritual Warfare

How the FBI Raid on Mar-a-Lago Is Spiritual Warfare

It's been a few days since the FBI raided President Donald Trump's home in Mar-a-Lago, and the Biden Administration has yet to explain to the American people why they did what's never been done in American history—the government raiding the home of a former president....

Why Partial Obedience to God is Disobedience

Why Partial Obedience to God is Disobedience

My husband had a saying for our children growing up. “Partial obedience is disobedience.” He wanted them to understand that doing half the plan would not get them the full reward. Another reminder we used to tell our kids was, “Don’t think about it, don’t hesitate,...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]