Benefield: Payday Loan Debate “About the Catholic Church and Other Crap”

(Not the legislature’s finest hour, folks – promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Mark Ferrandino’s attempts to cap interest rates on payday lending in Colorado stalled Friday in the Legislature, the Denver Post’s Tim Hoover reports, as House leaders postponed a vote because two Democrats were absent. The margin could be as close as a single vote, Ferrandino told Hoover.

Who’s opposed? House Republicans, who say reining in 300 percent interest rates would hurt the working poor, and some Democrats too. Hoover quotes Greeley Rep. Jim Riesberg, who “offered an impassioned defense of payday lenders” and said banks gouge customers worse with overdraft fees, and Arvada Rep. Debbie Benefield, who said the customers were the problem.

Rep. Debbie Benefield, D-Arvada, said people who have problems with payday loans have bad money management skills. She angrily said the debate was a discussion about “saving individuals from themselves and about the Catholic Church and other crap I’m hearing.”

The bill could come up for consideration again next week or might be sent back to committee for a rewrite.

A poll follows.

[poll id=”1094″]

13 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Snead says:


    “I feed the poor, I’m called a saint. I ask why the poor have no food, I’m called a communist.”

    Dom Helder Camara, Archbishop of Recife

  2. sufimarie says:

    I had to vote “other crap” cos it was most like “all of the above”

  3. JeffcoBlueJeffcoBlue says:

    Oh, Debbie. What a disgrace.

    (hangs head)

  4. Pam Bennett says:

    I find it difficult to understand how so many otherwise good Dems refuse to get rid of these loan sharks.

    Thursday evening at the HD42 meeting Rep. Karen Middleton asked us what we thought of the payday lenders – after she told us her thoughts.  My response was the loan sharks do quite well with our active duty troops and the federal limit of 36%. The leeches did quite well prior to the Republicans thinking 300 or 600% is a great non-usurious charge to keep poor people poor. Returning to 36% is not going to make them into charities.

    Karen was also concerned about the effect of the loan sharks leaving town would have on strip malls.  I agree that the loan sharks leaving town of their own accord, nobody is forcing them to fold up shop and leave, would have some deleterious short term effect. However, many of the strip malls are suffering more from the Bush depression than from anything else.  With a robust economy maybe some of the malls will fill with legitimate businesses again.


    • RedGreenRedGreen says:

      That’s probably the worst aspect to this whole thing, and it isn’t very bad. Can supporters of payday lending reform come up with another bottom-feeding industry to take over all the old Mr. Donut leases?  

  5. Awen says:

    Is not for a rewrite – it’s to kill the bill. And my sources say it would not be the same committee that passed it originally (judiciary).

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