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Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate  United States Province

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Faith-based Investors Celebrate Victory in Wells Fargo Pay Day Lending Decision January 17th, 2014

Wells-FargoWells Fargo, a major US bank targeted by faith-based investors for their harmful pay day lending practices, announced today that they would discontinue their Direct Deposit Advance service. This is a huge victory on behalf of those who have fallen prey to this predatory lending.

In a Shareholder Resolution with Wells Fargo, which the Oblates co-filed in 2012 and 2013, and in dialogs with company officials, ICCR members raised serious concerns about these loans, their impact on people, and the risks to the bank by engaging in such practices.

ICCR issued a press release on the bank’s decision:

After a long-term engagement with Wells Fargo to promote more responsible lending products, today members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) wish to commend management for making the right decision in ending its Direct Deposit Advance program. The company issued a statementtoday announcing that it would discontinue the product effective February 1st.

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Regulators Warned Against Allowing Abusive Payday Lending March 22nd, 2013

numbers_payday_loansThe Oblate JPIC Office joined nearly three hundred national organizations, state and local organizations, and concerned individuals in a letter against payday lending abusers organized by the Center for Responsible Lending.

According to the letter, “Direct deposit “advance” loans offered by a handful of banks, including Wells Fargo, US Bank, Fifth Third, Regions, Bank of Oklahoma and its related banking divisions, and Guaranty Bank, are structured and function just like loans from payday loan stores – carrying a high-cost combined with a short-term balloon repayment. Research has long shown that payday loans trap borrowers in a cycle of expensive long-term debt, causing serious financial harm to borrowers, including increased likelihood of bankruptcy, paying credit card debts and other bills late, delayed medical care, and loss of basic banking privileges because of repeated overdrafts. Payday lending has a particularly adverse impact on African Americans and Latinos, as a disproportionate share of payday borrowers come from communities of color. High cost, short-term balloon repayments, and the consequent series of repeat loans, have long been identified by regulators as features of predatory lending.

Read the letter… (Download PDF)


Act to Stop Usurious Payday Lending! February 23rd, 2012

US Regulators receive letter from over 250 organizations and individuals on usurious loans.
Over 250 organizations and individual advocates – including the Oblates and other faith-based groups – have joined the call to stop banks from extending predatory payday loans. These loans carry triple-digit annual interest rates of as much as 400 percent.

Consumers can join the call for regulators to stop bank payday lending by signing a petition at:

Learn about the problem of predatory payday lending in this video from Center for Responsible Lending.

Click here to read more »

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