“This Can’t Be Legal”

NPR is out with a report on the debt trap caused by payday lending loan sharks: A few years ago, a man came to pastor Wes Helm at Springcreek Church in Garland, Texas, and opened up about his financial troubles. Helm looked through the man’s budget and noticed one major monthly expense: a payday loan […]

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A $2500 Payday Loan Turned into $50,000 in Fees

One man in Kansas City borrowed $2500 in payday loans when his wife fell ill and ended up paying $50,000 in fees and interest over a five-year period. Here’s more on his story: Clark took out five separate loans of $500 from payday loan companies in Kansas City. Each of those had $95 bi-weekly interest […]

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Citizen Action Joins Groups Opposing HR 5112

Tennessee Citizen Action has joined a group of 43 National and State Organizations opposing H.R. 5112, legislation that would hinder the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) ability to rein-in abusive practices. Here’s the full text of the letter sent to Congress today: The undersigned organizations urge you to oppose H.R. 5112 or any similar bills that […]

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Tennessee Families Lose $226 Million a Year to Car Title Lenders

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s latest report underscores the need for a strong, national rule that reins in the worst abuses of payday and car title lending, said Andy Spears, executive director of Tennessee Citizen Action. The CFPB’s report released today found car title loans, on average, carry a 300% annual percentage rate.  The report […]

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Ethics and Transparency? Not So Much

Joel Ebert at the Tennessean has a story out about the Tennessee General Assembly’s Ethics Committees and their tendency to not meet at all. So, while bad behavior persists among legislators, the groups tasked with reining it in simply don’t. As Ebert notes: The Tennessee House ethics committee hasn’t met in at least six years. […]

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Google Bans Payday Loan Ads

Our friends at Americans for Financial Reform join many other consumer advocacy groups today in applauding Google’s announcement that it will no longer accept or display ads from payday lenders. From AFR: To its considerable credit, Google has decided to stop running search ads for debt trap payday loans. What does that mean? Google will […]

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Tonight at 7!

April 20, 2016 by  
Filed under Healthcare, Issues, Recent Blog Posts

Tonight at 7PM I’ll be live on Open Line on NewsChannel5+ in Nashville discussing access to healthcare and Insure Tennessee. Last week, we saw Speaker Beth Harwell announce a task force instead of proposing action on access to affordable healthcare. There’s no clear plan yet. Task force members have yet to talk to the federal government, who must […]

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ALEC’s Influence in Tennessee

We’ve told you before about one of ALEC’s favorite Tennessee lawmakers, Senator Brian Kelsey. Now, a story from Rick Locker about ALEC’s super-sized influence at the General Assembly. Locker reports: Indeed, ALEC is ingrained in the Tennessee Legislature, particularly among majority Republicans. Eighteen Tennessee lawmakers spent just over $53,000 in taxpayer money to attend ALEC […]

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Barry Moves Forward on Affordable Housing

April 12, 2016 by  
Filed under Economic Justice, Issues, Recent Blog Posts

Despite efforts in the General Assembly led by Franklin Rep. Glen Casada to thwart affordable housing initiatives in Tennessee’s cities, Nashville Mayor Megan Barry is moving forward with a significant investment in an affordable housing plan. The Tennessean reports: Mayor Megan Barry on Monday pledged $10 million to boost affordable housing in Nashville, a jolt […]

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Casada vs. Consumers

The Tennessean reports that Rep. Glen Casada has a new enemy: Consumers seeking affordable housing in Tennessee. From the story: Legislation that would prohibit municipalities in Tennessee from mandating that developers include affordable housing in new residential development is headed to the desk of Republican Gov. Bill Haslam. The Tennessee House of Representatives voted 72-23 […]

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