Thursday, July 27, 2006

Veterans, Consumer Groups Back Military Payday Loan Protection

By J.J. Cameron
Payday Loan Writer

Congress Will Decide the Fate of Military LoansEarlier this week, we reported that Missouri Senator Jim Talent was pushing for military payday loan reform. Now, over 70 consumer advocate and veteran groups are joining the fight, calling on Congress to enact the proposed cash advance amendment.

They argue that this predatory instant payday loan business doesn't just ravage service members and their families. It makes our military is less prepared.

Senator Talent amended the Defense Authorization (Senate Bill 2766) to cap interest rates on loans to service members at 36 percent - the same cap imposed by many states to thwart usury and payday loan sharks. A House-Senate conference committee must now approve the amendment for it to become law.

Consumer and veterans groups are urging committee members to do what is clearly the right thing and vote for the fast cash loan amendment to pass.

"We need your help in protecting military families from companies that target them with exorbitantly priced loans," the groups said in letters to Congress released today.

The spread of payday advance lenders: Payday providers cluster around military bases and target members of the military, according to a study by professors at the University of Florida and California State Northridge. The payday industry's own numbers show service members are twice as likely to be victims of pay day loans.

Federal law already lowers interest rates on loans service members borrowed before they entered the military. This amendment, however, caps rates on those payday loans or personal loans they borrow after enlisting or being mobilized.The amendment also covers car-title lending.

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