augusta free press news

Don Manning | Credit loophole

One of the first headlines I noticed last Sunday morning and gave much thought to during the course of that day was “Crafting a Plan B for tough economic times: What’s your Plan B if your current job becomes another casualty of the recession?”

Specifically, as certain congregational members stepped forward to light a candle, this headline took on real meaning during Joys and Concerns at church when I learned that the very next day would bring an end to their jobs.

But what if we find ourselves with no time to craft a Plan B and must resort to a desperate loan through car-title lending? Then, I believe our financial troubles would really begin. Recently, I read that one out of 16 such loans results with the vehicle being repossessed and sold.

Without our vehicles, those of us who become victims of car-title loans may lose our jobs because of missed work or may have to shred Plan B as we find we have no means to drive to an interview for a new job.

We can do better than this for fellow citizens. My day brightened up a bit when I discovered “Close the open-end credit loophole,” a plan prepared by the Virginia Partnership to Encourage Responsible Lending (VaPERL), a coalition of organizations and individuals working to reduce the damage of predatory lending to Virginia citizens and the state’s economy.

Can we be take action to regulate such loans? I plea with all in our great state to get behind the efforts to stop the abuses of the car-title lenders, support VaPERL, and advocate for the passage of critical legislation that would correct these wrongs.


– Letter from Don Manning, Lynchburg