Friday, August 12, 2016

Website Spotlight: Payday Lending Facts

Allied Progress, a non-profit grassroots organization devoted to holding powerful special interests accountable, today launched, a new website dedicated to educating the public about the predatory practices of payday lenders and the strategies used by the industry to avoid accountability and regulations designed to help consumers.
The website includes detailed research reports on payday lending executives; shady industry trade groups; tainted, pro-payday, academic research; industry campaign contributions and lobbying; and how lenders exploit legal loopholes to take advantage of consumers. The effort also includes rapid response posts correcting misleading media spin from payday lenders and their allies.
“This is one website payday lenders don’t want anyone to see. But hardworking Americans deserve to know the truth, which is why we have made our extensive research files into this predatory industry available to the public,” said Allied Progress Executive Director Karl Frisch. He continued, “Payday lenders don’t want us learning the truth about their lucrative racket of debt traps featuring 300 and 400 percent interest rates, and the lengths to which they go to avoid accountability. This new website provides consumers, media, and decision makers with a one-stop shop for the latest research on payday lenders and their powerful allies.”
Additional Background
Since last year, Allied Progress has been a leading voice in the fight to hold accountable the payday lending industry and its powerful allies in Congress. Last September the organization released a report detailing how a dozen members of Congress were showered with tens of thousands of dollars in payday lender campaign cash within days of taking official actions to benefit the industry. Allied Progress also helped expose the title lender with a shady past who has spent millions of dollars on a pro-payday lending industry ballot measure in South Dakota. 
For several months the organization has led rapid response efforts targeting the daily spin and misinformation circulated by the payday lending industry and its allies at think tanks and in Congress.
In March, Allied Progress launched its payday congressional accountability campaign with a television ad targeting Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz in her South Florida district, and an online petition at calling on her to “stop sabotaging President Obama’s hard work to hold payday lenders accountable.” In April, Allied Progress sponsored two billboards in Wasserman Schultz's district and a mobile billboard in the nation’s capital. She was aggressively challenged on her payday lending stance in local and national media subsequent to the campaign's launch.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced a proposed rule to rein in the worst abuses of payday lenders this past June. Days later, after months of intense pressure from Allied Progress and other consumer allies, Florida Reps. Wasserman Schultz and Patrick Murphy, two key payday lending advocates in Congress, abandoned their support for the industry and instead endorsed the CFPB’s reform efforts, thus signaling a defeat of the industry’s hope to supplant the CFPB’s approach to reform with Florida’s disastrous model of payday lending.
In addition to holding key Washington decision makers accountable, Allied Progress has led the fight to expose and hold responsible industry-aligned and deceptively named astroturf front groups like “Protect America’s Consumers,” and “Floridians for Financial Choice,” that have sought to defend payday lenders and other predatory industries from CFPB regulation.
About Allied Progress
A nationwide nonprofit, non-partisan, grassroots organization, Allied Progress uses hard-hitting research and creative campaigns to hold powerful special interests accountable and empower hardworking Americans.
Allied Progress focuses its efforts on powerful special interests that seek to profit from the economic misery they inflict on hardworking American families or advance policies designed to diminish the political potency of working people. Targets include major financial institutions and other corporations, leaders of industry, lobbyists, public officials, trade groups, advocacy organizations, and more.
The organization amplifies its efforts through hard-hitting digital and social media actions, aggressive, rapid response, sophisticated earned and paid media strategies, and an online headquarters featuring the latest news and research related to its various issue campaigns.

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