YWCA Central Alabama Hosting National Day of Action
on Predatory Lending Practices
BIRMINGHAM, AL., February 8, 2013 — The Deferred Presentment Services Act (Alabama’s payday
lending law) allows interest rates of 456 percent APR on loans under $500, a rate almost 13 times
prior limitations provided in the Small Loan Act. This law is victimizing working Alabamians every day.
To address this issue, the YWCA Central Alabama is partnering with Alabama Appleseed, Alabama
Arise, Birmingham Faith in Action and Greater Birmingham Ministries to host a National Day of Action
on Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 11:30 a.m. at the YWCA. Community leaders and predatory loan
borrowers will speak about the harms of predatory lending practices and how citizens can work to
change these practices.
“Right now there is a lot of momentum behind the effort to change the laws which allow certain lenders
to charge outrageously high rates. Support for leveling the lending playing field is coming from
Republicans and Democrats from across the state, and the YWCA is glad we are able to work for
change that will improve the lives of the people we serve as well as folks all over our state,” says Joan
Witherspoon-Norris, Director of Social Justice.
The YW has seen the impact of predatory lenders on the families they serve. Next to the YW’s
housing development in Woodlawn, a payday loan business presents itself as a viable option for
families short on funds. But, as in every other Birmingham neighborhood, too many people get caught
in the devastating cycle of borrowing more and more to pay back their original loan.
The YW and its community partners seek to gain passage of legislation to cap interest rates on small
dollar consumer loans at 36 percent, thus revoking the inexplicable authorization of 300 percent and
456 percent APR allowed under the laws governing title pawn and payday lending. Such modification
does not target any specific industry or business; it removes barriers to lending by reversing the
special interests’ carve outs and ensuring small dollar loans are affordable to all borrowers.
Shay Farley, Legal Director at Alabama Appleseed says, “With misleading promises of a quick fix,
these products trap borrowers in financial quicksand, strip wealth from vulnerable families and leave
borrowers with fewer resources to devote to asset development and boosting the local economy.
Congress set a 36% interest rate cap for military personnel and other southeastern states have laws
that limit interest rates or ban these products outright. It’s time for Alabama to do the same!”
The event is free and open to the public. Walk-ins are welcome, but RSVPs are appreciated. To
RSVP, contact Jacob Smith at email@example.com or (205) 322-9922 ext. 306.
About the YWCA
The YWCA Central Alabama is a United Way organization that is dedicated to eliminating racism,
empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. For 110 years, the
YWCA Central Alabama has been responding to the needs of women and families. The YW’s
programs and services serve women and families by providing: affordable child care for families; child
care and after-school enrichment programs for homeless children; affordable housing; a broad array of
domestic violence services; and social justice programs.
For Immediate Release
February 8, 2013
Media Contact: Joan Witherspoon-Norris
205 322-9922, ext. 164
Birmingham, AL – The YWCA Central Alabama and the National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ) are excited to host Anytown Alabama this summer, June 3-9, 2012 for high school students across the greater Birmingham area. Applications are currently being accepted by the YWCA.
Anytown Alabama was started in 1989 by the NCCJ and is now part of a partnership between the YWCA and the NCCJ. In 2011 there were over 60 student “delegates” in attendance from across the state of Alabama. This year, students will again engage in a week of learning how they can create change as they build bonds with other students from all walks of life.
At Anytown Alabama, students develop leadership skills that they take back to their schools and communities. They participate in open dialogue, games, and interactive workshops about social justice issues.
Some of the life-changing topics to be covered include: racism, religious oppression, sexism, classism and heterosexism. Students learn how to respond to difficult real-life situations with kindness, courage and respect. Anytown students leave feeling empowered to make their schools and communities more inclusive.
Anytown Alabama will be held June 3-9, 2012 at the YMCA Hargis Retreat in Chelsea. It is open to current 9th, 10th and 11th graders. Applications are welcomed from students of every race, creed, nationality, school, religion, gender, sexual orientation, immigration status and ability. Interested students must fill out the online application at www.ywcabham.org/AnytownAlabama/applications.asp.
For paper applications and questions please contact the YWCA at firstname.lastname@example.org or (205) 322-9922 Ext. 179. The student application deadline is Friday, April 13.
For over a century, the YWCA Central Alabama has been responding to the needs of women and families by providing: affordable child care for low-income families; child care and after-school enrichment programs for homeless children; affordable housing for families and seniors; a full array of domestic violence services and outreach programs for social justice issues.