NPT Capitol: Senators decry the “Toxic assets of Texas”
Senators Elliot Shapleigh, D El Paso, Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth and Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, spoke out this morning against so-called “predatory lenders” who make “obscene profits” at the expense of families just trying to make ends meet.
“The time is now to restore transparency and fairness to Texas lending. For too long predatory lenders have had their way with Texas. Until the basic transaction is reformed, toxic assets will continues to be created in Texas,” said Shapleigh.
The three senators were speaking in support of legislation that would regulate such lenders more tightly and cap the interest rates they could charge. Such restrictions, are currently bypassed due to loop-holes in state and federal law, said Davis, author of SB 2131 which would close such loop-holes. Last week, the Senate passed SB189, authored by Shapleigh which caps interest rates on loans to military personnel and their dependents to 36 per cent. Shapleigh has also filed legislation, SB 248 that would extend the 36 per cent cap to all Texans.
“If it is not OK for payday lenders to prey on the military, then why in the world would it be OK for them to target some of our most vulnerable citizens?” asked Davis who supports the legislation. During the press conference, Shapleigh alluded to the deregulation of financial services over the last twenty years in the United States and in Texas. NPT asked Shapleigh to elaborate:
“Phil Gramm,” replied the Senator. Check out the write-up here
But is the situation that simple? NPT took a walk around downtown El Paso, where neon signs and fluorescent stickers advertise quick loans on every street corner. Check back later for the write up.
Update: Write-up here