Fresno Joins Other Cities to Limit Harm Caused by Payday Lending

Editor’s note: The CFPB, a federal agency, has proposed new rules for payday, car title, and high-cost installment lenders.

BUT, they need to hear from consumers- that means you! We have an easy-to-use page where you can weigh in- it only takes a minute and will help bring about important consumer protections with these loans. Please share a line or two in the comments box about why you care about this issue and want to see strong federal reforms.

PS: You do NOT have to be a payday, car title, or installment borrower to sign the petition.

Payday loans are loans that have to be paid back very quickly (typically weeks or less) and at a very high interest rate.  The stores offering these types of loans tend to congregate in low and middle-income neighborhoods and communities of color.  The majority of the research on payday loans indicate that they don’t help most consumers- in fact, they put them in a worse place financially.

In June, the City of Fresno, California moved to address the over-proliferation of these companies within the city.  The City Council unanimously approved a new ordinance that will require new payday lenders to obtain a conditional use permit from the City of Fresno, and also creates “buffers” between new businesses, requiring at least a quarter mile separation between payday lending stores.

Local faith leaders in Fresno, as well as community-based organizations, and advocates, worked to highlight the need for such an ordinance over the course of the past year.  “Payday lenders charge borrowers outrageous interest and fees, which more often than not trap consumers in an inescapable cycle of debt,” said Liana Molina, an organizer with the California Reinvestment Coalition. “It’s a victory for central valley communities and consumers that the City of Fresno is using their authority to restrict the growth of these predatory businesses.”

Rev. Dr. Christopher Breedlove, Pastor of Community United Congregational Church and Board Chair of Fresno’s Faith In Community (FIC) said, “Today’s significant action by the Fresno City Council is an important start to mitigating the adverse impacts of payday loan stores. Communities of faith, through FIC, applaud the courage and compassion of City Council members to stem the tide of modern day usury that preys on the hardship of the working poor.”

To stay up to date on financial justice issues in California, especially as they relate to low income communities, and communities of color, you can follow the California Reinvestment Coalition on our Facebook page, via TwitterGoogle+, watch our movies on our YouTube Channelsign up to receive our newsletter and action alerts, and of course, visit our website.

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