Predatory Lenders

In some parts of House District 101, there’s a payday or auto-title lender on every street corner. In fact, over a ten-year period, the number of these types of businesses has doubled in and around our area. Although the number has grown considerably, the level of oversight and regulation by the state remains limited and inadequate.

As a result, many communities throughout Texas have passed local ordinances to fight back against predatory lenders and to protect their citizens from high interest rates and fees or from losing their vehicle, which is often their only means of transportation. As a result, cities like Dallas, which has been a leader on cracking down on predatory lenders, have seen a decrease in the number of these businesses in their communities.

lenderpI have filed several bills this session to rein in various aspects of the predatory lending industry, including one that I presented in committee yesterday afternoon, which would prevent predatory lenders from making unsolicited telemarketing calls to offer loans.

In support of my bill, several Texans testified about their experience with these predatory loans. One man, Daniel Ramos from Jarrell, Texas, shared his very personal story. One afternoon, Mr. Ramos received word that his wife, who is a Type 1 diabetic, had been rushed to the hospital. After paying nearly $1,000 in hospital bills, the Ramos family was having a hard time paying other bills. One night, hours before a bill needed to be paid, Daniel took out a $450 payday loan. A month and a half later he was able to pay off the loan — and when he did, he owed nearly $200 in interest and fees. That didn’t stop his phone from ringing with offers of new loans. Months later, even though he doesn’t owe them a dime and has asked to be taken off their call list, the calls kept coming.

If you have a story or an experience with predatory loans, let us know.



P.S. If you want to get more involved in finding solutions on this issue, give us a call at 817-459-2800 and join the Texas 101 Payday Lending Task Force.


On Monday, I presented my first bill of the 84th Legislative Session. HB 408 will end the practice of “double dipping” by elected officials who are using their time as an elected official to be eligible to receive a state pension while still in office. Texas is the only state that allows this and many other states bar it. I’ll keep you posted on what happens next with this bill and the others that I have moving through the system.

If you’d like to see what else I have filed, click here.