Friday, May 27, 2016

Join the fight!

As many of you know, CitySquare, along the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, Jewish Community Relations Council and Catholic Charities, has played a major role in curbing the abuses of payday and auto title lenders. Because of our efforts, the Dallas City Council unanimously adopted the most stringent ordinances in the country to regulate this industry. That ordinance has now been adopted by more than 33 different cities throughout Texas, including El Paso, Austin, Garland, Houston, San Antonio and Grand Prairie and there are other municipalities considering the Dallas ordinance. While we and our allies have not been quite as successful at the state level, we did get legislation requiring disclosure and reporting of these businesses which allows more opportunity to tell of the impact they are having on Texas families.
Now we have the opportunity to substantially impact the small dollar loan industry on a national level…
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the federal agency which provides oversight over abuses in the financial industry, is taking comments from citizens throughout the country regarding their dealings with payday and auto title loans. These comments will be considered as the CFPB recommends to Congress federal legislation that will save the people we care about across the nation, from the debt trap caused by this type of predatory lending.  

What can you do?

If you, or anyone you know, have been victimized by payday or auto title lenders, tell your story! Write it down on this form and send it to United Way of Metropolitan Dallas Attn: Stephanie Mace 1800 N. Lamar St Dallas, TX 75202, or attach as PDF document and send it to
Check out this Payday Lending Alternative sheet, which is a resource provided by the Anti-Poverty Coalition with counsel for those may be going through hard financial times, along with a list of legitimate lenders who may be able to help.
Also, ask your neighbors, co-workers, or fellow community members if they have ever been ensnared in debt because of taking out a payday or auto title loan. If they haven’t, do they have a close relative or friend who may be in debt because of one of these loans.
Payday lenders are one of those businesses that help keep poor neighborhoods poor. People who take out these loans are not stupid, they aren’t lazy, they aren’t trying to get something for nothing. People who take out these loans are in desperate situations and get in trouble attempting to pay them back.  For so long, we were told that there was nothing that could be done. Now we have a chance to fight for those in poverty, our friends, and our families!
In this fight together!
Rev. Gerald Britt Jr.
Vice-President of External Affairs

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