Stalking the Predators: Turning Payday Loans and Other Schemes to Our Advantage

David Sirota notes how wrong the right-wing is on issues of predatory lending. In state after state, corporate conservative leadership is responsible for killing bills to regulate the usurious industry. Even worse, as Sirota points out, Congressman Bob Ney is now pushing legislation to preempt state regulations, leaving states that have enacted consumer protections in the same place they were before they went to bat against special interests. In Oregon, they've realized the dangers of predatory lending. And while the Speaker of the House has stalled reform efforts (unsurprisingly, she's the recipient of major donations from the industry), a coalition is coming together to demand reform. The truth is that virtually nobody likes the fact that this industry is unregulated. As OurOregon points out, loan sharks charge as much as 521% interest. The only people who support that are the money changers and the politicians they've bought. Progressives have a major opportunity this fall with predatory lending. They're seizing that opportunity in Oregon. Where else? Update -- Mark Winston Griffith, a fellow at the Drum Major Institute, has been doing great work on this issue. Check out his news from today about how predatory lenders in Pennsylvania are closing up shop due to an FDIC crackdown. Earlier this month, he turned his spotlight on H&R Block and their practices. H&R operates in less than above-board ways and is now looking to expand into even more financial services -- that's bad news for consumers.