Remember who votes against cap on loan interest rates - Albuquerque Journal

Remember who votes against cap on loan interest rates

The antics in the roundhouse over the proposed 36 percent interest rate cap – favored by 85 percent of New Mexicans, 260 New Mexico faith leaders and 12 New Mexico cities and counties – could be an incredible silver lining, as long as we keep very close track of who votes against the cap – or to table the bills.

We also need to make sure to document the ridiculous things people say in these sessions.

The Albuquerque Journal already reported on William Verant’s preposterous comment that the bill could destroy these industries.

Obviously, we need to destroy these industries.

One-thousand percent interest loans hurt New Mexicans, and we unquestionably need to destroy these high-cost lenders before they destroy us.

Everybody knows this, which is what makes Verant’s comment so incredible. They take us all as fools.

Many legislators have commented publicly that capping interest rates will hurt our economy. Seriously? All empirical studies show just the opposite, namely that these high-cost loans strip the economy of wealth and keep people from being able to afford what our local businesses sell, including food, cars and other goods.

No wonder local businesses favor the cap.

According to one local business owner, Marc Powell of Recarnation, “the New Mexico Legislature must close the loopholes that allow our most economically vulnerable citizens to be further impoverished by avaricious lenders. The argument that high rates are required is untrue, as our company’s recently announced 36 percent title loan shows.”

Marvin Ginn, executive director of Native Community Finance, adds that his organization “refinanced one woman’s predatory loan from 1,018 percent to 15 percent. She said we gave her life back.”

The bottom line is that everybody favors the cap, except the legislators who have lined their pockets with industry funds.

Maybe this is why businesses think legislators favor lobbyists over the rest of us, as Sunday’s Albuquerque Journal article “State business leaders favor more transparency in campaigns,” reported.

Not only are the cap bills everyone wants being tabled, but a bill allowing for 1,270 percent rates on tax refund appreciation loans has just moved out of committee and is moving forward toward passage.

Speaking of crazy comments, one Democratic legislator at the Business and Employment Committee hearing on tax anticipation legislation said “these loan charges are not too high. Loan businesses have expenses. When I was in the business I paid 6 percent just to have money to lend.”

Is it really OK to charge 1,270 percent for money that cost you 6 percent? The disregard for what the New Mexico public wants is getting more and more flagrant.

Thankfully, we have a powerful remedy. Kick them out of office.

These legislators were elected to represent us, not the lobbyists.

Keep watching New Mexicans. We can report all these facts out during the next elections and elect people who will stand up for us, not the thieves who are stealing our state’s future.

The future is in our hands, and it won’t be long before we can vote them out of office. We won’t forget this and we the people will get the last word.

I am seeing the silver lining right now.

The views expressed in this op-ed column represent the opinions of UNM professor Nathalie Martin and not those of the University of New Mexico School of Law. (Writer subsequently submitted this disclaimer.)


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

Nativo Sponsored Content

taboola desktop

MORE ARTICLES LIKE THIS

1
A prescription for winning the COVID fight
From the newspaper
UNM doctor likens the current battle ... UNM doctor likens the current battle to smallpox and says the vaccine can eradicate it
2
NM Legal Aid helps over 1,000 every month
From the newspaper
But scores turned away; Legislature can ... But scores turned away; Legislature can change that with more funding
3
Beat the resolution rush and check out how to ...
From the newspaper
Beat the resolution rush and ... Beat the resolution rush and check out how to eat better, exercise more and engage with others
4
PNM-Avangrid merger too important for NM to cast aside
From the newspaper
Most people who are PNM customers ... Most people who are PNM customers - about 60% of the state - know that PNM is in the middl ...
5
Supply and demand dictates higher teacher salaries
From the newspaper
Teachers change lives. We make their ... Teachers change lives. We make their jobs easier by ensuring students have high-quality learning mat ...
6
Why 'But, Judge, it's Christmas!' can't carry any weight
From the newspaper
Every year around this time, I ... Every year around this time, I hear a phrase repeated over and over. I hear it when a party requests ...
7
NM needs Congress to pass climate fixes
From the newspaper
Right now, Congress has a critical ... Right now, Congress has a critical chance to fix the broken and outdated oil and gas leasing system ...
8
Extend Medicaid period for new moms, their babies
From the newspaper
American Rescue Plan funding can lengthen ... American Rescue Plan funding can lengthen coverage from 2 months up to 1 year
9
NM simply cannot make the economics of hydrogen work
From the newspaper
High costs and water use make ... High costs and water use make it a non-starter for clean energy goals