According to the Center for Responsible Lending, payday and title loans cost borrowers over $7 billion in fees annually. This is money taken out of working people’s pockets. Loopholes and the weakening of usury laws have allowed lenders to offer loans averaging over 400% APR that often trap families in cycles of debt, leaving them unable to pay bills, keep food on the table, or provide for their children. All too often, a loan offered as a quick fix to a temporary financial problem leads to the loss of the borrower’s most significant assets, their home or car, and a period of indebtedness that costs them many times the loan amount.
Working people in our congregations should be honored, not preyed upon. On Labor Day Weekend, September 2-4, 2016, faith communities around the metroplex will stand in solidarity against predatory lending. We will dedicate part of our weekend services to teaching what our sacred texts have to say about predatory lending, informing our community about the dangers of predatory payday and title loans, and moving our congregations to speak prophetically against injustice by calling on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to make strong rules for lenders to end the debt trap. Will your congregation help #StopTheDebtTrap and protect working families?
To participate in the #StopTheDebtTrap Sabbath, you need to:
Dedicate part of your weekend service to #StopTheDebtTrap
-Dedicate an announcement or your message to talking about what your sacred text says about predatory lending
-Resources including theological reflections, supporting scriptures, and borrower videos are available in our #StopTheDebtTrap Sabbath Toolkit
Gather public comments calling CFPB regulators to stop the debt trap during your weekend service
-Take a few minutes during your service to have people fill out comment forms or make a “Stop The Debt Trap” station in your lobby where people can get more information and make a comment to the CFPB - print this comment form for use in your congregation.
-Direct people online to make a comment through this link: http://faithforfairlending.org/PICO/