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Predatory Lending

Jesus begins his public ministry by going to synagogue and reading from the prophet Isaiah. “The Spirit of the Lord is on me because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the […] Read More

An unexpected medical bill, car trouble, buying school supplies, a funeral or a summer utility bill – one or many of these expenses have pushed countless Texans to the financial brink. Needing a way to meet the unexpected expense, many families turn to payday and auto title lenders who are all too happy to profit […] Read More

A fascinating BBC news story emerged recently. A controversial payday lender called Wonga came to a voluntary settlement with the United Kingdom regulator after admitting it had been lending recklessly, at high interest rates, to people otherwise excluded from the financial sector. It has agreed to write off 220 million pounds ($402 million) of loans. […] Read More

An acquaintance of mine owned and operated a small finance company years ago. He loaned money to individuals who couldn’t get a loan from a bank because of various reasons–inconsistent employment, insufficient annual income, bad credit history and so on. Of course, he charged them a higher interest rate than the banks, but the people […] Read More

Abortion, homosexuality and church-state separation. These are all issues on which Baptists have made their diverse opinions loudly known to the public. But predatory lending is definitely not an issue that many associate with Baptists. Yet Baptists in several states have been fighting against the wealthy and powerful multibillion dollar predatory lending industry in recent […] Read More

Faith and taxes – a forbidden topic in many houses of faith – was the focus on the Baptist Center for Ethics’ annual luncheon during the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s 2012 General Assembly. Held in Fort Worth, Texas, the luncheon was sponsored by BCE and the Christian Life Commission (CLC) of the Baptist General Convention of […] Read More

Baptists entered the White House on Wednesday to join administration officials for dialogue over critical policy topics. A delegation of 60 goodwill Baptist pastors from almost 20 states participated in the four-hour briefing with White House officials. Baptist pastors pressed administration officials on topics ranging from the environment to immigration to predatory lending. Although media […] Read More

One of the primary emphases of the New Baptist Covenant II meeting in Oklahoma was a push for economic reforms related to “payday lending” – industry terminology for the practice of extending short-term, high-interest loans with no credit checks. Typically, the borrower gives the payday lending firm a signed check for the amount that will […] Read More

Usury is defined as the practice of charging excessive, unreasonably high and often illegal interest rates on loans. Originally, when charging interest was still banned by Christian churches, usury simply meant charging interest at any rate. The book of Exodus says, “If you lend money to one of my people among you who is needy, […] Read More

An Alabama United Methodist bishop told almost 300 middle-Tennessee leaders of faith in late November that he was sorry for being inactive while an anti-immigration bill moved into law in Alabama. He also called on Tennessee clergy to speak up. “I’m up here in Tennessee … to repent,” said William Willimon, bishop of the North […] Read More