The following was submitted by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
This week the U.S. House of Representatives will likely vote on a bill that would strip away safeguards needed to stop predatory lenders from trapping low-income people in an endless cycle of poverty and debt.
The House is expected to pass this outrageous legislation.
But that doesn’t mean the fight is over. We’re monitoring this bill as it moves through Congress and will need your help.
The Financial CHOICE Act eliminates vital consumer protections in the Dodd-Frank law that was enacted after the 2008 financial crisis sent the country spiraling into one of the worst recessions ever.
Tucked inside the bill is a provision that short-circuits pending rules needed to rein in lenders who offer payday and car title loans. It even prohibits the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) from ever regulating this industry.
These loans trap millions of poor people across America in a nightmare of debt. Often, they’re people who just need a little money to buy food or pay a water bill. In some states, lenders get away with anything and are allowed to charge crippling interest rates – like in Alabama, where interest on a payday loan is 456%.
Last year many of you submitted comments to the CFPB about these payday practices and urged the agency to enact commonsense regulations to protect the most vulnerable consumers. Now, the Financial CHOICE Act would prohibit the CFPB from regulating payday lenders. It’s a giveaway to an industry that profits from the desperation of the poorest Americans.
We’re not going to give up on this and neither should you.
Read more about the CHOICE Act and its implications for low-income communities, and get ready to take action with us against this bill.
The fight isn’t over yet.