By Chronicle Staff
Recognizing that unfair, deceptive and fraudulent loan practices can shatter the already fragile budgets of low-income families, Friends In Deed, Circles Washtenaw, and the United Way of Washtenaw County are hosting a discussion about how to stop predatory lending in our community. The Town Hall is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, November 5that 7 pm at St. Luke-Ann Arbor (4205 Washtenaw Ave.). Community members will share their personal experiences with these loans; and panelists from different levels of government, including U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell, Michigan State Senator Jeff Irwin and Michigan State Representative Abdullah Hammoud, will discuss how the community can come together to stop these kinds of deceptive practices.
Despite high interest rates, unfair fees, and impossible deadlines, low-income families in crisis often have little choice when faced with an emergency need but to get a loan from a business that uses deceptive practices. This can result in a cycle of debt that shatters a household and results in the loss of a car or home. It is no coincidence that these types of businesses are located in low-income neighborhoods, where they can best target vulnerable populations, including minorities, the elderly and survivors of domestic abuse.
The Town Hall on Predatory Lending will shine a light on predatory lending practices and provide a forum for community members to work together to combat them. Representative Dingell will deliver the opening remarks at the Town Hall. Representing Michigan’s 12th District, she led the effort to bring the 10,000 Small Businesses initiative, a $20 million partnership designed to help create jobs and economic growth, to southeast Michigan. Senator Jeff Irwin has focused on creating a living wage policy, extending health insurance for uninsured workers and protecting our natural resources; and Abdullah Hammoud, a State Representative of the 15th House District, has emerged as a strong voice for civil rights and a leading mind for health policy.
The moderator for the event is Jessica AcMoody, a Senior Policy Specialist from the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan (CEDAM). She is focused on coalition building and advocating for policies that create more vibrant, equitable neighborhoods around the state. This includes affordable housing, tax policy, asset building, and consumer financial protections.