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Immigration

The U.S. Senate has shown both courage and wisdom in passing the sweeping immigration bill. In order to get bipartisan support, the bill had to reflect the concerns of people across the political spectrum, and this has resulted in a bill that addresses the needs of security, business and immigrants. Full Story »

small_print_loans

(This is the final guest blog post by Leah Gonzalez, a master’s degree student in social work at the University of Texas in Austin.)

Just like there are individuals behind each story of extraordinary debt caused by payday and auto title loan, individuals make up the industry, as well.  It wouldn’t be fair to disregard what members of the payday and auto title loan industry have said in defense of their business. Full Story »

car title loans

(This is a guest blog post by Leah Gonzalez, a master’s degree student in social work at the University of Texas in Austin and a graduate of Howard Payne University.)

Several states have banned payday and auto title lending. At the end of July 2010 Arizona joined these ranks – kind of. It’s true; in 2010 Arizona enforced “Operation Sunset,” which made it illegal to provide a payday loan. Part of this operation includes a limit of 36 percent interest on other consumer loans. Research from the Arizona Attorney General concluded that these protective measures would benefit Arizona consumers by outlawing these risky lending practices.  Full Story »

interest rates usury

(This is a guest blog post by Leah Gonzalez, a master’s degree student in social work at the University of Texas in Austin and a graduate of Howard Payne University.)

The term used to describe illegally high interest rates applied to loans is “usury.” Usury laws set caps for interest rates of consumer and commercial loans. Payday and auto title loans are considered consumer loans.  Full Story »

predatory lending

(This is a guest blog post by Leah Gonzalez, a master’s degree student in social work at the University of Texas in Austin and a graduate of Howard Payne University.)

While researching predatory lending and its impact, I found a fairly consistent voice of opposition from religiously affiliated organizations. Truthfully, this took me by surprise. Full Story »

payday-loans (1)
(This is a guest blog post by Leah Gonzalez, a master’s degree student in social work at the University of Texas in Austin.)

Steven Graves and Christopher Peterson may not be the most recognizable names in academia, but for the purposes of this blog, they are my new higher-education heroes. Graves is a professor of geography at California State University, and Peterson teaches law at the University of Florida. In 2005, Graves and Peterson published a study in The Ohio State Law Journal titled, “Predatory Lending and the Military: The Law and Geography of ‘Payday’ Loans in Military Towns.” Full Story »

Leah Gonzalez

Hello! My name is Leah Gonzalez, and I’m pursuing my master’s degree in social work at the University of Texas in Austin. I graduated from Howard Payne University with a degree in social work. My family is originally from El Paso,  and I grew up in San Antonio. I’ll be writing this blog discussing various issues surrounding payday and auto title lending. Payday lending is a complex issue that’s targeting the financial welfare of Texas families. I’ll be updating this regularly leading up to and throughout Texas’ legislative session. Thank you for your interest, and I hope you join me in exploring how payday and auto title lending should be a concern for all Texans. Full Story »