Group Informs Council of Issue
January 1, 2013
In Denton, Texas, an alliance of residents, churches, nonprofit groups, and a local credit union have formed the group Denton for Fair Lending and are calling for the city council to crack down on payday and auto title lenders. About 45 businesses in Denton make short-term loans, according to U.S. Department of Labor statistics. Joe Ader, resident and pastor of the Village Church, told the council that these businesses stripped about $2.6 million in wealth from Denton in the past year and repossessed at least 66 cars. When borrowers cannot repay a short-term advance, the whole loan is rolled over and continues to accumulate interest. Although this is illegal in many states, Texas allows the lenders to operate as credit service organizations. Janet Shelton of Hope Inc. says that the average $300 payday loan costs the borrower about $840 to repay. Denton for Fair Lending has asked the council to adopt an ordinance with restrictions such as where the businesses can operate and that it require short-term loans be set up for repayment in four installments.
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