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Coalition Of Advocacy Groups Opposes Subprime Lending Bill

General James Bauerle speaks against payday loans at the statehouse.

General James Bauerle says expanding high interest loans will hurt Hoosiers even more. (Steve Burns, WFIU/WTIU News)

A coalition of veterans, church leaders and advocacy groups gathered at the Statehouse Monday to oppose legislation that would expand subprime lending in Indiana.

They say these loans are targeted at -- and hurt -- those who protect the nation.

In 2007, President George W. Bush signed the Military Lending Act, which put a 36-percent cap on payday loans for active-duty military members. 

Legislation now in the Indiana House would create two new types of loans with interest rates well above that. In fact, the interest rates are above what the state defines as felony loan sharking.

However, Hoosier veterans say the law doesn’t protect them, reservists, or the Coast Guard.

Purple Heart recipient Steven Bramer Jr. says he was victimized by a payday lender.

"There are many of us that have fought and bled and died for this country," Bramer says. "Please don’t forget about us. I protected you at one point, now it’s time for you to protect me.”

Military Veterans Coalition Vice-Chairman General James Bauerle says expanding high interest loans will hurt Hoosiers even more.

“If Senate Bill 613 becomes law, I predict Indiana will move close, if not to be number one, the worst state in the nation for bankruptcies,” Bauerle says. 

The bill has yet to be heard in the House Financial Institutions Committee.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

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