Dear Pennsylvania Vincentian,
Every day, we fight poverty in our communities, helping our fellow Pennsylvanians stave off eviction, keep the lights on, access medical care, and get the car repaired. As you know, we have an important ally in this fight--strong consumer laws that protect our friends in need from predatory payday lending.
We need to do our best to keep it that way. Payday lending preys on working people and families who are doing the right thing but still struggling to get by. People working hard to make ends meet should be supported, like the help we give as Vincentians. Payday lending does the opposite, and exploits their vulnerability.
Once again, some of our elected officials are trying to push through legislation to weaken these protections. House Bill 2429 will allow payday lenders to become "credit service organizations" so they can circumvent our interest rate caps, allowing them to charge over 300%.
Our brother and sister Vincentians in Ohio, Texas, and other states provide a glimpse of what's at stake. Many of the friends they serve struggle under the weight of predatory payday loans, which require an added level of assistance. Imagine being asked to help with rent, or giving out groceries, because someone owes hundreds of dollars to a payday loan.
As of now, the bill is scheduled for a vote before the House Commerce Committee on Wednesday, June 13. For more information on what the bill would do, visit stoppaydayloanspa.com/.
The Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Pennsylvania has a strong history of being a leading Catholic voice in protecting poor and vulnerable families. The last time a similar bill was introduced, Vincentians helped stop it, and we recently signed a similar letter.
Thank you for all you do in service to our brothers and sisters in Christ,
Al Bannon Pat Walsh Ed Markiewicz
President President President
Diocesan Council of Pittsburgh Archdiocesan Council of Philadelphia Diocesan Council of Greensburg