Black & Blackburn: Loan Shark Defenders

U.S. Representatives Diane Black and Marsha Blackburn today voted for a bill that could override existing state laws that protect consumers from high-interest, short-term loans. Both are seeking statewide office in Tennessee in 2018.

More specifically, the U.S. House of Representatives today approved HR 3299 by a vote of 245 to 171. This bill could allow short-term lenders to partner with banks to circumvent state laws limiting the amount of interest lenders can charge borrowers for a short-term loan. In Tennessee, lawmakers have capped short term interest rates at just under 400%.

“We oppose efforts by Congress to supersede a state’s decision to protect consumers by capping interest rates on short-term loans,” said Andy Spears, executive director of Tennessee Citizen Action “It is shameful that Black and Blackburn, both seeking the opportunity to represent our entire state,
today sided with predatory lenders more interested in making a buck than helping working individuals trapped in a never ending cycle of debt.”

Tennessee Citizen Action is
involved in the Stop The Debt Trap campaign, a coalition of civil rights, consumer, labor, faith, veterans, seniors and community organizations from all 50 states. More than 200 organizations associated with the Stop The Debt Trap campaign recently released a letter urging Members of Congress to reject HR 3299. The letter – which can be read in its entirety here – points out that the bill poses a serious risk of enabling predatory lending and unsafe lending practices.

HR 3299 now moves to the U.S. Senate for consideration.


Black Blackburn

For more on our work to protect consumers from payday predators, follow @TNCitizenAction



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