NJ pastor pushes for anti payday loan campaign


United States, 18th January: A New Jersey pastor is pushing for an anti-payday loan campaign throughout the US.

A senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Lincoln Garden, Somerset, New Jersey, Rev. Dr. DeForest Soaries has initiated a nationwide campaign against payday loans. This is in response to several phone calls he got after he appeared in Almighty Debt, a documentary on CNN around two years ago. The documentary brings forth economic difficulties of members of Lincoln Garden on the verge of foreclosure, hunting for student financial aid and facing long-term joblessness. The documentary was rated among the second-highest favorite program having a viewership of around 13.8 million.

The program’s main aims are as follows

• Providing information through community centers, churches, barbershops etc.

• Coordinated efforts to stage protests at payday stores.

• Initiating local leaders to come forward against payday loans and related practices.

• Identifying and bringing forth suitable alternatives to payday loans though money lenders, minority banks and credit unions.

Soaries writes in the American Bar Association’s January 2012 edition that the US needs a nationwide campaign that highlights the efforts payday companies make to involve innocent customers into their trap.

While bringing forth the predicament of Americans, he states that a large number of them are in a web of depleting economic opportunities and to make things worse, corrupt financial practices are making the poor poorer while handing out benefits to bigger enterprises,

The practices of payday lending have been the subject of debate with the Center for Responsible Lending making collaborative efforts with 17 states, local lawyers and Columbia to formulate suitable reforms in payday lending.

Online payday loans and bank payday loans are thwarting attempts to control the menace of payday lending. For an average borrower going for a payday loan, the period of indebtedness is almost twice the period advised by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

And the most vulnerable users of payday loans are seniors whose number is nearly 2.6 times higher than other bank clients on the whole. Among the worst affected by payday lending are the black, states a recent CRL research.

Majority of storefront lenders throughout the US have brown and black people as their clients with Missouri having highest number of payday stores per capita.