Statement on HB 1913

STATEMENT ON HB 1913

 As leaders of major Christian denominations in the State of Oklahoma, we believe that the way in which we treat the most vulnerable among us is a mark of our faith (Matthew 25:40).  In light of this, we strongly oppose HB 1913, the “Oklahoma Small Loan Act.”

HB 1913, if it were to become a law, would enable payday lenders to charge up to 204 percent APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for loans up to $1,500.  We reject the concept that triple-digit-interest rates are acceptable, especially when the industry which provides such loans targets those least able to repay the loans and the interest in a timely manner and, therefore, often have to take out additional loans at exorbitant rates to pay off earlier loans.

Under current Oklahoma laws, the maximum interest rate on loans over $1,470 is 30 percent.  On a $1,000 loan, existing law allows for a maximum interest charge of $394 over a twelve-month period, compared to $1,405 for the same $1,000 loan and time period under the new law proposed by HB 1913.  We believe this to be predatory usury which harms, rather than helps, the poor and which is unacceptable in our society.

We call on all legislators to vote against HB 1913 to protect our most vulnerable fellow citizens.

The Rev. Dale Assink

Regional Minister, Synod of the Heartland

Reformed Church in America

 

The Rev. Dr. Bobby Best

Bishop, Ninth Episcopal District

Christian Methodist Episcopal Church

 

The Most Rev. Paul S. Coakley

Archbishop, Roman Catholic Archdiocese   of Oklahoma City

 

The Rev. Dr. Gregory J. Coulter

*General Presbyter

Eastern Oklahoma Presbytery

Presbyterian Church, USA

 

The Rev. Dr. B. Gordon Edwards

*Executive Presbyter

Cimarron Presbytery

Presbyterian Church, USA

 

Rex Friend

Religious Society of Friends

 

The Rev. Michael Girlinghouse

Bishop, Arkansas-Oklahoma Synod

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

 

The Rev. Dr. Stephen D. Graham

Coordinator, Cooperating Baptist Fellowship of Oklahoma

 

Dr. Edith Guffey

Conference Minister

Kansas-Oklahoma Conference

United Church of Christ

 

Bishop Mildred B. Hines

Bishop, Southwestern Delta Episcopal District

African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church

 

The Rev. Pamela Holt

Regional Minister, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Oklahoma

 

The Most Rev. David Konderla

Bishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of Tulsa

 

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Edward J. Konieczny

Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma

 

The Rev. Heidi Regier Kreider

Conference Minister, Western District Conference

Mennonite Church USA

 

The Rev. Dr. Matt Meinke

*Stated Clerk

Indian Nations Presbytery

Presbyterian Church, USA

The Rev. Calvin Miller

State President

Progressive Oklahoma Baptist State Convention

 

The Rt. Rev. Michael L. Mitchell

Presiding Bishop, Twelfth Episcopal District

African Methodist Episcopal Church

 

The Rev. James G. Nunn

Bishop, Oklahoma Conference of the

United Methodist Church and the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference

 

The Rev. Dr. William Tabbernee

Executive Director

Oklahoma Conference of Churches

 

*For identification purposes only.

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