Klein Urges Congress To Tackle PredatoryLenders

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KANSAS CITY - (03/30/05)–Hank Klein, president of ArkansasFCU, testified before Congress yesterday that "predatory lending inany form is unacceptable to the credit union community (which)disapproves of any practices that take advantage of uninformed andunwary consumers by subjecting them to deception, misleading andincomplete information, falsifications, or outright fraud." Kleintestified before the House Subcommittee on Rural Enterprise,Agriculture & Technology on behalf of NAFCU. He told lawmakersthat NAFCU "strongly supports meaningful efforts to eliminatepredatory lending practices in all sectors of the economy." Klein,whose credit union was originally chartered to serve Little RockAir Force Base, said that predatory and payday lenders areunregulated and that they "prey on the military and lower-incomeconsumers who can least afford the service." Case in point, hesaid: Outside the gates of Little Rock Air Force Base is a clusterof payday lenders. Klein’s testimony before the subcommitteewas in support of efforts by NAFCU to get legislation enacted thatwould allow credit unions to better serve their members and helpfight predatory lending. That legislation, the Expanded Access toFinancial Services Act of 2005, H.R. 749, was introduced by Rep.Jim Gerlach.

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