The Center for Public Policy Priorities, a left-leaning political think tank, released a study showing that in 2013 the industry raised it’s fees by 12 percent, collecting over $1.3 million from Texans.
Don Baylor, a senior policy Analyst with the center, said that Texans between 2012 and 2013 paid more in fees for loans using a paycheck or car title as collateral.
“So we saw these loans become more frequent and we also saw them become much longer in terms, which means Texans are paying a lot more for these products,” Baylor said.
This week a coalition met to address San Antonio's problem with low-income access to credit. 30 people representing organizations ranging from the San Antonio Area Foundation to the Federal Reserve Bank of San Antonio make up the The Anti-Predatory Lending Coalition which is looking at ways to increase alternatives to payday and auto-title lenders.
They use "predatory" to describe the lenders who charge large transaction fees as well as exorbitant interest rates on their loans.
A political expert says the ongoing battle over remarks made by Texas Finance Commission Chairman William White, who is also vice president of Cash America, a payday lending company, is a glimpse at how the rest of the 2014 governor’s race will play out.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis called for White to resign from his position following comments he made about consumers and payday lending companies, saying that White's position at a such a company compromises his ability to act as a fair regulator of the industry.
Texas Matters: Residents in North Texas are dealing with the increased frequency of small earthquakes that some people are linking to oil and gas drilling in the area. State Rep. Mike Villarreal talks about the possible conflict of interest with William White, who as chair of the Texas Finance Commission is also vice president of a payday loan company. Also on this show: Population growth in Texas and the Kallison ranching family.
State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, who is running for governor in 2014, is calling on Gov. Rick Perry to remove William White, the chairman of the state’s Finance Commission, following comments White made to the El Paso Times about payday lenders and the people that use them.
In the article, White says that blame for debt trouble belongs on the consumers and not the companies that make the loans.
The National Center for Reason and Justice is saying Fran Keller, who was incarcerated 20 years ago in a bizarre ritual abuse case in her Austin daycare center, is going to be freed as early as this afternoon to await the decision of the Court of Criminal Appeals on whether or not a retrial is necessary.
Faith-based organization Together for the City is about to launch a new alternative to payday lending that the group hopes will help financially-strapped families get back on their feet. The one-year-old group also plans to carve out a variety ways to serve the community.
At Tuesday’s meeting, Linda Hardberger asked the group to help Green Spaces Alliance promote and build more community gardens throughout the city.
Payday lenders and their legislative allies managed to defeat a bill in the Texas Legislature this past session, and they have a whole host of tricks to get around laws in other states.
We talk with ProPublica writer Paul Kiel, who has written extensively on the subject in his Debt Inc. series, about the arsenal of financial products and loopholes that payday lenders exploit in order to get around laws in states all across the country.