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September 30, 2009 10:39 AM MDT

Attention Payday Loan Comment Spammers: Wrong Blog

  • by: Colorado Pols

It seems like every morning we wake up to a fresh round of comment spam from the payday lending industry. We’re tired of it, and we’ve decided to take a new approach.

The blog system we use is pretty good about filtering spam, primarily by requiring commenters to register with a valid email address. There are no automated methods of spamming our site that we’re aware of, which means that the people posting these subtly-worded ads for payday loans are physically present and reading the discussions they’re spamming.

Well, we have a message for you, payday loan spammers: in return for your unwanted solicitations, we’re going to help put you out of business in Colorado.

The Colorado state legislature has tried several times in the last few years to curtail the payday lending industry, which charges exorbitant interest rates to hard-up customers for short term loans–loans that are usually rolled over for additional two-week periods, frequently leading to a cycle of crushing interest obligations and inescapable debt. Many payday loan customers end up paying hundreds of dollars more in interest than the amount they originally borrowed.

Recent bills intended to rein in the excesses of the payday lending industry failed each year after intense lobbying campaigns, abetted by certain legislators who acted out of the blue to gut or kill reforms without adequate explanation (see: intense lobbying campaign).

Unfortunately for the payday lenders, Jennifer Veiga resigned from the Colorado Senate this year. She won’t be there to kill a payday lending bill in 2010, and the bill is definitely coming back.

We’re not about advocacy here at Colorado Pols, but we’ve been supportive of payday lending reform as a common-sense consumer protection measure ever since the subject has been up for debate in Colorado. This is not some LiveJournal about kitties and teenage angst–this is the biggest political blog in the state of Colorado, safe to say payday lending spam is not reaching its intended audience here.

But thanks to their spam, we are going to make it our mission to help pass tough payday lending legislation in Colorado next year. We’re going to talk about the bill every chance we get. We’re going to link to all the studies showing what a cancerous scam payday lending is on the most economically vulnerable. We’re going to do much more than simply delete comments and ban these spammers–we’re going to make them pay dearly for spamming you.


32 thoughts on “Attention Payday Loan Comment Spammers: Wrong Blog

      1. Last time there was a diary about this, we had a sock puppet called 1commonsense trying to tell us how payday loans are greatest.

        Maybe they got the message.

  1. This is a litmus test issue for every candidate and elected official.

    Preying on the weakest in society, trapping them in the indentured servitude of permanent debt, is not something any politician should condone.

  2. sometimes a pay day loan may be the lesser of the evils facing a hard-pressed consumer.  With banks charging $40 or more for an overdraft, a consumer running short has few options, none of them happy.  

  3. I moved out here from South Carolina this summer and if you’d like a case study in the tremendous influence exerted by these blood suckers over our elected representatives, look no further than the last session of South Carolina’s legislature.

    These guys actually made a bill that was good for them in that it protected their interests look like reform!

    1. So I have looked up legislative records on this as I am also very curious about this…

      Seems that Cheri Jahn voted FOR 2 payday lending bills:

      HB 07-1261 and HB 08-1126

      She did vote no on HB 08-1310 but so did DEMS Debbie Benefield, Jeanne Labuda, Buffie MacFadyen, Wes McKinley, Joe Rice, Jim Reisberg, and Rafael Gallegos.

      Could this mean that there might have been something with that bill that was a problem?? Seems like there must be more to this story if so many D’s jumped ship…  

      1. 2 points just read all the bills

        1.HB08-1310’s sponsors Ferrandino, Pommer, Carroll T., Butcher, Solano, Kerr A., McGihon, Groff, Tapia, and Morse.  Are you implying they missed something bad for consumers that Rep. Jahn caught?

        2. HB07-1261 and HB08-1126 both dealt with a single issue.  Whether payday lenders are required to tell people they can have a payment plan when they roll over a loan.  Not much help, in fact it might have been supported by the industry to forestall real reform.  I don’t know, I don’t follow the issue closely.

        1. In response to your 2 points:

          1) I am not sure about what in the bill was the reason for the vote, but I also read them and see that the limits and percentages the bill would have imposed seem pretty arbitrary.  I suppose it is all about balance.  It’s sad but true that payday lenders are sometimes the only resort for some people.  I can only guess that Rep. Jahn and the other D’s who voted no did so because they thought the bill went too far.  I am an advocate for reigning in payday and other lenders’ bad habits but I don’t want them to completely go out of business either…

          2) I think the main way you help consumers in a free society is to give them as much open and honest info as possible and let them choose from there.  In my opinion, bills to open up the process and require notification to consumers on an array of lending practices is a BIG help to many!

          1. As to “arbitrariness.”  The law is full of them, fines, the minimum wage, Workers comp payments, mandatory jail sentences, statutes of limitations, caps on damages. Do you oppose these things as well?

            Do you know who payday lenders pray on?

            They are the most vulnerable people in society, we shouldn’t allow people to “freely” enslave themselves.  

            1. I would just hope that these arbitrary numbers have a little research behind them.  And yes, I do think some of our mandatory jail sentencing laws are asinine as is the way we often calculate how/when/how much to rise minimum wage.

              I do know that Payday lenders are definitely in it for the profit and many people have suffered because of bad loans.  I suppose I see it like I see the mortgage crisis–yes, the banks share a lot of the blame and should be more regulated (as should payday lenders) but the consumer needs to take responsibility for some of the blame as well.  

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