ACLU Comment on Nebraska Voters Passing ACLU-Backed Ballot Measure to Stop Predatory Lending

November 4, 2020 12:00 am

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LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska voted to pass Measure 428 tonight — a ballot initiative led by Nebraskans for Responsible Lending, a coalition of groups including the ACLU and the ACLU of Nebraska, that aims to stop predatory payday lending by capping interest rates at 36 percent annual percentage rate (APR). Previously, payday lenders in Nebraska charged an average of over 400 percent APR — interest rates that cause devastating economic impacts and trap borrowers in a cycle of debt. The financial harms caused by predatory payday lending fall disproportionately on communities of color and other marginalized communities, where payday lending stores are located in higher numbers and disproportionately market to members of those communities.

Nebraska is now the 17th state in the country, in addition to Washington, D.C., to move to protect consumers by limiting payday lenders from charging excessive fees and interest.

Below is comment from:

Ronald Newman, national political director at the ACLU: “This is a huge victory for Nebraska consumers and the fight for achieving economic and racial justice. Predatory payday lending makes racial inequalities in the economy even worse — these lenders disproportionately target people of color, trapping them in a cycle of debt and making it impossible for them to build wealth. Voters and lawmakers across the country should take note. We need to protect all consumers from these predatory loans to help close the wealth gap that exists in this country.”

Danielle Conrad, executive director at the ACLU of Nebraska: “Nebraskans said loud and clear that predatory payday lending doesn’t have a place in our state. It’s good news for all Nebraskans, but especially those who were most often targeted by this deeply harmful practice. Tonight’s vote proves that we can still find common ground on important issues, including economic and racial justice. Protecting our neighbors isn’t a red or blue value, it’s an American value.”

Key coalition members include: AARP, Habitat for Humanity of Omaha, NAACP (Lincoln Chapter), ACLU of Nebraska, Community Action of Nebraska, Heartland Workers Center, Immigrant Legal Center, Lending Link, National Association of Social Workers – Nebraska Chapter, Nebraska Appleseed, Nebraska Children’s Home Society, Omaha Together One Community, Voices for Children in Nebraska, the Women’s Fund of Omaha, Youth Emergency Services, and YWCA Lincoln.

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