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Steve Ahlquist is an award-winning journalist, writer, artist and founding member of the Humanists of Rhode Island, a non-profit group dedicated to reason, compassion, optimism, courage and action. The views expressed are his own and not necessarily those of any organization of which he is a member.

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"We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” - Elie Weisel

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor." - Desmond Tutu

"There comes a time when neutrality and laying low become dishonorable. If you’re not in revolt, you’re in cahoots. When this period and your name are mentioned, decades hence, your grandkids will look away in shame." - David Brooks

7 responses to “Gordon Fox, William Murphy and Payday Loans”

  1. Samuel Bell

    Does anyone know why there’s no Marquette problem with regulation of payday loans?  Are payday lenders exempt from Marquette protection?  If so, how did they wind up exempt from usury laws in the first place?  Does anyone know the history here?  Marquette caselaw is irritatingly hard to find online.

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    1. Sully

      Marquette applies to federally chartered banks, which payday lenders are not, so they do not get the same “protection” of being able to charge an unllimited interest rate as national banks do.

      Normally, they would be subject to RI’s usury law, capping interest at 21%. However, in 2001 the legislature enacted a law that allowed “check cashers” to charge a “defered depoisit fee” of 10%, allowing them to advance a paycheck and charge a 10% fee on the “advanced” amount. I am not a math guy, but my guess is that works out to about a 260% APR.  

      Interestingly, the  Check Cashing Bill was sponsered by Reps McCauley, Alemdia and Williams.

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  2. DogDiesel

    You had a successor but you’re friends were seduced by the power of the leadership position. Nice to see you accepting faith based influence on government when it happens to agree with your point of view.

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  3. DanielSmith

    I have used a pay day loan occasionally when a big unexpected bill pops up. I pay $36 to borrow $200 for 2 weeks. A bank charges you $35 to borrow $1 if you make a mistake doing math in your check book. Who are the rip off people here? One time I used the wrong deposit slip (my mistake) and my bank charged me $175 in fees for 5 $4 lunches on my ATM card even when I had $1600 in a savings account in the bank. Yes I made a mistake but the bank could have just transferred some money or taken 5 minutes to call me. By the way most banks have a way to make your card be turned down if funds aren’t available but you have to ask for it. Then they often “forget” to keep that feature turned on also. Better a devil you know at the fast payday loans place that is honest about his fees up front than your good buddy banker that will twist the knife he drives in your back when you are shaking his had in friendship.

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  4. DogDiesel

    Is this site getting spammed by payday lenders?

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