Several Christian groups have united in praising the repeal of a recent government rule that may have expanded and allowed predatory lending practices.
Last month, the Biden Administration signed into law a measure that rescinded the "true lender" rule. The true lender rule was one passed that would allow payday lenders to collaborate with out-of-state banks. By doing so, it allowed the lenders to offer loans to those in short-term need without risking state law enforcement punishing the lenders according to their rules.
These laws are often considered unethical due to the high rates of interest connected to them. Some payday loans can have interest rates up to 400% or more. These rates make it extremely hard for those in low-income situations to pay off said loans on time.
The True lender policy was so disliked that eight state attorney generals partnered together to sue the federal government over the policy. The lawsuit argued that "high-cost lending schemes devised to evade state usury laws."
The Senate and House both voted for the law to be annulled, followed by Biden's signing the annulment of said law into policy on June 30th.
Lawmakers were not the only ones who opposed the policy. A coalition of religious organizations partnered together to express their issues with the law. The alliance, known as Faith for Just Lending, describes itself as "a coalition of faith-based institutions working to end predatory payday lending." The coalition includes a diverse collection of organizations, including the Catholic Charities USA, Center for Public Justice, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, Ecumenical Poverty Initiative, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, Faith in Action (formerly PICO National Network), National Association of Evangelicals, National Baptist Convention USA, National Latino Evangelical Coalition, The Episcopal Church, and United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
"We are grateful that Congress has recognized the harmful impact this rule would have on borrowers, even in states that have strong consumer protections," said Reverend Dr. Cassandra Gould, Pastor and Executive Director of Missouri Faith Voices in a press release. Daniel Patterson, acting president of the SBC ERLC echoed these remarks. Patterson told the Baptist Press that the repeat is "a welcome change, and we are grateful to Congress for passing this legislation and President Biden for signing it."