Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Quick Cash--for them

You want to know what 'blights' a neighborhood? It isn't widow women running a quiet business in the Music Row area. Let's start with predatory lenders who think that 44% interest isn't sufficient.

"The legislation being studied over the summer would effectively cap the fees and interest at 44 percent a year. [Billy] Mitchell [also a Georgia legislator], of Community Loans of America, told the committee that if the new legislation passed, "make no mistake about it — it would shut down the industry."

He accused industry critics of misleading lawmakers, and said most borrowers are responsible and pay the loans off while a small segment of customers is getting in financial trouble or trying to game the system." Tennessean

Rep. Billy Mitchell has been noticed lobbying for his bosses in Louisiana, Virginia and his own state of Georgia, according to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution. Mitchell says the paper got it wrong. Now he's in Tennessee recruiting legislators during election season.

If the Republican's win the majority of the Tennessee House & Senate I expect this to get cleaned up rather quickly. If the Dems still hold the House it won't happen. While the party says they're 'for the people' in cases like this...they're solidly behind these financial piranhas.

After the subcommittee heard most of the testimony, Rep. Curt Cobb, a Shelbyville Democrat, said lawmakers would reconvene later "and come up with some recommendations, or not."

Three days later, he received a $500 campaign contribution from the political action committee of Tullahoma-based payday lender 3D Financial, according to the PAC's most recent state campaign filing.

Thursday night the Metro Council will hear comments from citizens regarding tweaking the Gallatin Road Improvement Plan (GRIP) to limit cash advance, check cashing, pawn shop and title loan businesses. When a new Tennessee Quick Cash moved into the neighborhood after the passage of the GRIP several of us were surprised thinking they'd been zoned out. Turns out they found a loophole by calling themselves 'banks' instead. The bill before the Council on 2nd reading on Thursday is intended to close that loophole.

Until the state legislature decides to take action we'll have to rely on the locals. Contact council members and let them know how you feel about this issue.

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