Payday lending in a nutshell

June 9, 2009 | By | 2 Replies More

I represent consumers in several class actions against payday lenders. The suits are all based in Missouri, but payday lenders freely do business in most states.

What are “payday lenders?” Here is a six minute video by the Center for Responsible Lending that will give you a good idea. To best understand what goes on, ignore the industry rhetoric. Instead, recognize that payday loan shops commonly charge more than 400% interest to the working poor, setting people up in debt traps from which the end result is financial ruin. Why not simply ban shops that engage in these practices? Good question. Ask your elected state and federal representatives why the hell they aren’t taking serious action. Hint: the problem has a lot to do with campaign contributions.

One more thing: the payday loan shops try to exculpate themselves with arbitration clauses that ban all class actions and class arbitrations. These clauses make it extra difficult to successfully sue these businesses, even when they are flagrantly violating the loan laws that do exist. By using these mandatory pre-dispute arbitration clauses, payday lenders are essentially giving themselves Get-Out-of-Jail-Free cards.

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Category: Consumerism, Economy

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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