On Monday December 16, the Caldwell City Council voted unanimously in favor of an ordinance that will limit new payday and title loan businesses in the city. New predatory loan companies wishing to set up shop in Caldwell’s commercial areas will be required to apply for a special use permit and receive approval from the City Council. The Mayor and City Council members have shown great leadership in protecting their citizens as Caldwell is the first city in Idaho to address this growing issue.
ICAN members have been active over the last several months reaching out to churches, community groups, small businesses and residents who have struggled with predatory loan debt. With large low income and Latino populations, Caldwell is a city that has been targeted by predatory lenders as a “hot spot” in the state. Caldwell currently has 10 predatory loan companies in the city limits. These high concentrations of wealth stripping loan sharks create a negative economic impact on everyone in the community, not just the victims who fall at desperate times.
This ICAN victory is dedicated to the memory of Retta Green of Caldwell Idaho. Retta passed away in June of this year trapped in a predatory loan. Three years ago, Retta was diagnosed with cancer and the new medications prescribed by her doctor came with increased prescription co-payments. Living on a limited income Retta could not afford her medication so in a moment of critical need, she took out a small loan. For the next three years, Retta could only afford the interest payments keeping her trapped in a cycle of debt. Retta represents 25% of seniors on limited incomes nationally, who struggle with predatory loan debt.