St. Mary’s Episcopal Church and Christ the King Catholic Church team up to educate on payday lenders

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 9, 2018

Predatory payday lending practices have created a debt crisis in Alabama.

St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, along with Christ the King Catholic church and Alabama Appleseed, is sponsoring a presentation at St. Mary’s to educate the community about predatory payday loans.

“People need to learn about the implications of payday loans,” The Rev. Cindy Howard of St. Mary’s said. “The poor community are the people suffering from these type of loans so if we can educate them then we have taken a step forward.”

Howard said she hopes that people will show up, because it is an important topic

Father Wayne Youngman of the Catholic church said that he agreed to co-sponsoring the presentation because it is the right thing to do.

“We need to shed a light on this problem and help the poor work on their debts,” Youngman said.

Dana Sweeney, from Alabama Appleseed, will be the presenter of the evening.

Sweeney is a statewide organizer for Alabama Appleseed. His work focuses on the crisis of predatory lending in Alabama, and he is responsible for mobilizing communities across the state in coordinated efforts to curb the exploitative financial practices of predatory lenders. He is a graduate from The University of Alabama with a bachelor’s degree in English. While attending school, he served as a White House Associate in President Barack Obama’s Office of Correspondence.

According to the Alabama Anti-Predatory Lending Coalition, Alabama has more payday lenders than any other state per capita, and the lending problem is hurting local businesses. The coalition said that every one-dollar spent paying back a high-cost lender takes almost two dollars out of the local economy due to depleted consumer finances and increased bankruptcies.

The entire community is invited to the presentation on Thurs., March 15, at 6 p.m. at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, 1307 East Three Notch Street.