I just sent the following letter to the Springfield News-Leader:
"I am hopeful that Missourians will learn as much as possible about the "payday loan issue" currently in discussion in many venues around our state. There are valid points to consider on all sides of the issue, and it is important that we give full consideration to the question.
"I believe that I have heard and fully understand the opposition’s point of view, and I remain convinced that 400% interest rates are too high. Simply put, there is no compelling case to be made that charging a struggling family 400% interest (and even higher at times) should be legal. It is time for Missouri to cap those rates.
"Businesses that practice ethical lending need not fear the proposed cap. It does nothing to limit competition among lenders. In fact, it makes the competitive playing field level in that Missouri would no longer be inundated with predatory lenders, and ethical lending companies would therefore have an equal opportunity to do business.
"Most convincing for me is the damage done to families caught up in the cycle of debt, exacerbated by the practices of lending companies that charge triple digit interest rates. The hopelessness in the eyes of parents who literally fear for the health of their children can be quite compelling.
"Please learn as much as possible about this issue, and make an informed choice. Not to decide is a decision in favor of the status quo. And I truly believe the status quo is unjust and must be changed."
I hope that you might visit these sites:
Missourians for Responsible Lending website and Facebook page.
The ballot initiaive summary is here and the full text is here.
Make Room--A Sermon for Christmas Eve
2 weeks ago