Leaders of EPISO and Border Interfaith leveraged enough City Council votes to restrict how much payday lenders can make off low-income families. Lobbyists flew in from Dallas and Austin to fight this ordinance, but this did not keep the council from heeding the organized voice of families and institutions, and voting 6-1 in support. Bishop Mark Seitz of the Catholic Diocese of El Paso supported these efforts to protect families from compounding debt and excessive fees.
The new payday lending reform in El Paso allows lenders to loan no more than 20% of a borrower’s gross income. Contracts must now be presented in the person’s dominant language and short-term loans cannot be rolled over more than three times.
With 160 payday lending centers in El Paso, leaders are now working with the City to examine whether to restrict how many payday lenders can set up shop in low-income neighborhoods.
Oped by St. Jude and EPISO leader Larry Garcia: City Should Keep Rules on Payday, Title Lenders, El Paso Times [pdf]
El Paso Ordinance on Payday Lenders to Take Effect January 16, El Paso Times