The Commonwealth Iconoclast

A site dedicated to covering issues relevant to the Commonwealth of Virginia, and nation at large, plus other interesting things too, as I see fit...

Friday, January 26, 2007

Happy Sharks in Virginia!!!

Happy Sharks in Virginia!!!

Shark-Endorsed Bill Sliding Through Murky Waters!

Payday Lenders See Clear Sailing while Consumers Seen as Shark-bait!!!

Just a few words here before going into a well deserved long week-end.

According to this morning’s news, a Virginia Senate panel yesterday rejected efforts by some lonely members for tougher regulations on the so called payday lenders “industry”.

Pay day lenders “industry”. An interesting word choice… like they produce something worth while… like an endless cycle of hopeless debt… getting deeper and deeper.

Oh well. You can read all about it in the Richmond Times Dispatch under the byline of Jeff E. Schapiro titled “Tougher payday loan bill rejected.”

Schapiro points out that the “industry” along with the related car-title lenders have enriched the coffers of 110 Virginia legislators to the tune of $180,000 for this session.

Considering that these Virginia legislators seem solidly on track to preserve the lending fees equivalent to 391 percent annualized interest, it would seem that $180,000 is a small price to pay for a little bit of friendly influence in high places.

The sharks have good reason to smile here in Virginia.

If $180,000 can facilitate these kinds of legislative results for such a reprehensible “industry” one wonders what kind of friendly consideration is possible with some serious money!!!

I am thinking highways and transportation, education, health care, etc. On these important issues, are lawmakers looking out for the little people kind of like they are with payday lending issue, or are they looking out after a different breed of sharks.

Makes you wonder doesn’t it?

But for now, isn’t it comforting to know that so many members of the Virginia General Assembly are so comfortable with treating some of society’s least financially capable citizens as if they are nothing more than shark-bait?


  • At 1/27/2007 9:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    yes, if our elected officials were as motivated to solve real problems as they ar this payday issue we'd all be in better shape...very sad

  • At 1/28/2007 11:44 AM, Anonymous Been There Done That said…

    Seems to me that every year the list of top political donors to members of the General Assembly always includes up around the top trial lawyers, bankers, insurance companies, more lawyers, beer and wine people, electric utilities, realtors, contactors, and, did I mention, more lawyers.

    In comparison to these heavy hitters, $180k is a pretty good chunk of change to split up among 110 lawmakers. Of course some probably get more and others less.

    Only 30 lawmakers apparently didn't get a cut of this plum pie and they were probably the diehards that the lobbyists knew they couldn't budge.

    All totaled ther are a lot of donors large and small, but $180k will certainly put a smile on the faces of the big whigs in the GA.

    Welcome to Politics 101: It is all about the money.

  • At 1/31/2007 1:58 PM, Anonymous Mary said…

    The General Assembly members who have sold out to the sharks who run this business, ought to be ashamed of themselves.

    Why is Virginia so backwards in consumer protections?

    Last I knew thirteen states have outlawed this scam and another 25 states have strict usury laws which make illegal such abusive lending practices. Virginia is one of only a small handful of states that allow this horrible practice that preys on little people with little education and little hope of ever getting out of the hole.


  • At 1/31/2007 2:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    There are probably others to blame for this disgrace, but you can start by questioning Senator Saslaw.

    Other members of the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee are Senator Wampler the Chairman who cut off embarrassing discussion, and Senators Colgan, Chischester, Miller, Norment, Stosch, Stolle, Potts, Edwards, Williams, Watkins, Wagner, Newman, and Rerras.

    I am sure if you call any of them they will be happy to talk to you if you bring your check book.

  • At 2/06/2007 3:13 PM, Anonymous mary said…

    For a few short days it kind of looked like the politicians might decide to do the right thing. But no, it is business as usual in Richmond.

    Today's news is that the house bill ammended by Del Jennifer McClellen to cut the interest rate to a mere DOUBLE the usery rate was withdrawn by the original sponsor for concerns that the sharks wouldn't make enough money to make it worth their while.

    What is the world coming to?

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