Reverend: Flex loans better than stripping

Posted at 4:57 PM, Mar 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-10 21:58:53-05

Faith-based groups, consumer advocates and veterans groups, gathered at the Capitol to denounce Senate Bill 1316 or the Flexible Credit Loan.  

It proposes allowing short term consumer loans of more than 200% APR.  Opponents say they are a debt trap for the working poor.

Senator Martin Quezada, a Democrat whose district includes Maryvale, says the area has been targeted by high-interest lenders for years.

"That's the lowest hanging fruit," he says. "Those are the easiest victims."

Pastor Warren Stewart Jr. calls the loans "financial bondage."

"Because people cannot get out of this to pay (them) back," he says.

There were also a couple of voices for support.

Including Senator John Kavanagh, a Republican whose district includes Fountain Hills, who introduced the bill. Reverend Jarrett Maupin showed up to back the bill as well.

Maupin says minorities who live in low-income neighborhoods have no other options for lending because banks discriminate and should offer more options.

When asked about other options like maybe people getting a second job to help with expenses he responded "Oh sure. Selling drugs? A second job working in a strip club? These are real stories that I hear." 

When asked to clarify whether he was saying that the only second jobs minorities get are as drug dealers and strippers Maupin responded "I'm saying to you that it is wrong to tell people who are working full-time or part-time that they need to get a second job in order to borrow money."  

See extended interviews with Senator Martin Quezada and Reverend Jarrett Maupin in video player above.

Dan Torrington from Society of St. Vincent De Paul say there several charitable organizations ready to help families who really need it.

"That goes on every day. The Society of St. Vincent De Paul is out visiting the poor in their homes and helping in any way that we can," he says.

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