Department of Defense Orders Crackdown on Predatory Lending

September 26, 2014

Media Contact:  Terri Sterling- 208-790-4438 terri@idahocan.org

ICAN:  New DoD Military Lending Act Rules Will Protect Troops from Predatory Lending

BOISE, ID -Today, members of the Idaho Community Action Network  applauded the Department of Defense for issuing new proposed rules to protect service members and their families from predatory lending practices. The new rules update implementation of the Military Lending Act, bipartisan legislation passed by Congress and signed into law by President George W. Bush, to close loopholes predatory lenders have used to prey on members of the armed services

“The military has rightly identified protecting members of the armed services and their families from abusive lending practices as vital to military readiness,” Terri Sterling, Director of ICAN said. “Exploitation, in any form, of the very people who protect our country is clearly wrong. We believe the rules announced today will crack down on predatory practices and strengthen our community as a whole. The fewer people trapped in a cycle of debt, the better.”

The Military Lending Act limited loans to members of the military to a 36% annual percentage interest rate. Predatory lenders have used loopholes and created new, sky-high interest rate loan products to circumvent the narrow definitions the Department of Defense used in its original regulations implementing the law. Often marketed as a quick fix to a cash crunch, the defective and predatory loans currently targeting members of the military are designed to trap them in a cycle of debt they cannot escape. Many lenders charge effective interest rates over 400% when factoring in exorbitant fees and worthless insurance products often sold with loans.

“The last few years have shown that predatory lenders are, unfortunately, innovative, and they often have friends in high places,” Robynhawk Wilson, Board member of ICAN said. “Today’s new rules are a mark of the Department of Defense’s true commitment to doing what is in the best interest of service members.”

The Idaho Community Action Network opposes predatory lending practices and has been a strong advocate of reforms to protect consumers and their families. To speak with a member of ICAN, please contact Terri Sterling at terri@idahocan.org or 208-790-4438].

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It’s a Shark Attack!

frenzy (2)

Media Advisory
August 6, 2014
Contact: Terri Sterling
(208) 790-4438
terri@idahocan.org
It’s a Shark Attack
ICAN Members Warn, “Don’t Get Bit By Predatory Lending”

LEWISTON ID- Idaho Community Action Network (ICAN) members and Lewiston families harmed by predatory loans are biting back this week by drawing attention to the numerous payday and title loan businesses on Lewiston’s 21st Street and the need for the City of Lewiston to limit the growth of these types of businesses.

ICAN leaders will turn out Wednesday on 21st Street in front of these loan companies with flyers, petitions and large banners warning residents, “Don’t Get Bit by Predatory Lending,” and “It’s A Feeding Frenzy”.

“I struggle with payday loan debt, and I think that our local and state governments have a responsibility to restrict the harmful businesses in our community. They are bad players-taking money out of our community, states Alison Smith, Lewiston resident in a report released by ICAN this week, Predatory Lending Practices Negatively Impact Lewiston Valley Residents And The Local Economy.

Idaho, without an interest rate cap, has the highest interest rates in the nation at 582%APR, yet the state legislature continues to dismiss the need for a state rate cap that would limit the interest rate at 36%. As a result, Idaho becomes a “feeding frenzy” for predatory lending and the responsibility falls on local governments to limit the number of lenders they will allow. Caldwell recently adopted such an ordinance. Continue reading