CORE Spokesperson Niger Innis
House Financial Institutions, Real Estate
& Securities Committee
Mr. Chairman and
members of the Committee, my name is Niger Innis. I am the National
Spokesperson for the Congress of Racial Equality also known as CORE. CORE
was founded in 1942 and it is the third largest of the civil rights
organizations in the United States. For over 60 years, CORE has championed
self determination and equal opportunity for all people. I am pleased to be
here today to address this committee, because we, like you, are working to
find real solutions to the most difficult problems facing working families
in our communities.
As part of our
commitment to improving the lives of working families, CORE has looked into
the payday loan issue. We’ve researched the payday lending industry, its
products and its customers. We have found that, as in all industries, there
are a variety of actors. And in the Payday lending industry there are many
good actors. They are both responsible and they deliver a product that is
wanted and needed in our communities. Payday lenders offer a choice that is
not widely provided by traditional lenders anymore. Consequently, we think
that payday lenders provide a choice that members of our communities should
be allowed to make.
Mr. Chairman and
members of the committee; I would like to address my remarks to and in
support of House Bill 337.
House Bill 337 Creates a financial literacy education fund to be used to
support various adult financial literacy education programs, that will be
funded by a five per cent (5%) assessment of the financial institution fund.
CORE is a long time
supporter of financial literacy. We believe that people should be able to
make their own financial decisions and that they are best able to do that
when they are educated and given accurate information. It is for these
reasons, that in 2005 CORE initiated its Financial Literacy Choice and
Awareness Campaign (FLCA) to educate the public about various financial
choices as well as the opportunities and pitfalls associated with those
We have talked to and
engaged various members of the payday loan industry and other financial
service providers, across the country, about its commitment to financial
literacy. This goal of HB 337 is admirable and, on behalf of CORE, we
support this legislation and the efforts you’ve made to bring this to
However, Mr. Chairman
one respectful suggestion I would strongly recommend and urge; it seems to
me that all types of financial service providers should be encouraged to do
their part to fund financial literacy efforts in the state. Financial
literacy and awareness is the next frontier for the civil rights movement
and we should all do our share to further that goal.
Other aspects of HB 337
that we are fully in support of are;
against check-cashing loan programs in Ohio conducted through the mail or
through the internet, drafting funds electronically from any depository
financial institution or from billing any credit card issued by a financial
institution for any loan or extension of credit ( is made pursuant to an
agreement for deferred deposit of any check including any deferred
electronic draft) without the business first having obtained a check-cashing
loan license from the superintendent.
check-cashing loan businesses to comply with the “Fair Debt Collection
Practices Act”, when collecting money owed under a loan contract and the
collection Limit of the permitted check collection charge to no more than
one time on the same check; and finally prohibiting licensees from bringing
or threatening to bring criminal action against a borrower for failure to
comply with the terms of a loan contract.
The creation of an
optional extended payment plan for borrowers who are unable to pay their
loan on its due date. A licensee shall offer to each borrower at least one
extended payment plan per calendar year. It allows the borrower to repay
the loan in four equal payments with the first payment being due on the date
the borrower enters into the plan and the other three payments due on the
borrower’s scheduled periodic pay date. No additional interest, fees or
charges may be applied to loans that go into the extended payment plan.
Furthermore, that a check-cashing loan business is required to post a sign
that informs potential borrowers of the extended payment plan option.
This extended payment
plan option is exactly the vehicle that people in my community could use to
prevent the potential cycle of debt, while exercising a financial option
made available with access to this product.
In closing, I would
like to extend my congratulations to this committee for its reasoned work on
this important issue. I understand that there has been a great deal of
sensationalism and media hype about this issue in recent recently. I want to
commend you for keeping cool heads and for endeavoring to do what is right
for all of the citizens of Ohio. It is easy to fall into step with
political correctness. But it takes character to do as you have done by
considering what is best for the vast majority of consumers – not just the