By Kathleen Day, Center for Responsible Lending - 04/29/10 12:27 AM EDT
The Hill last week ran an op-ed online titled, “On Why a consumer financial protection agency will hurt consumers,” by Gerri Guzman, a spokesman for the payday lending industry, which is fighting this legislation so its members can continue to charge 400% interest. Yet Guzman failed to tell readers of her financial ties to the payday industry, key information if the public’s to assess the value of Guzman’s word. Instead she identified herself as head of a benign-sounding group, “The Consumer Rights Coalition (CRC)…. a consumer-based organization dedicated to ensuring that Americans will continue to have access to all forms of credit.”
In a public video taken by the Arizona legislature Guzman admits upon questioning by Arizona State Senator Paula Aboud that CRC is funded and sponsored by payday lenders. http://azleg.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=13&clip_id=7101 (At 2 hours and 43 minutes into the video.)
Mary Jackson, lobbyist for Cash America, one of the biggest payday lenders, is the president and only director of CRC. (http://bit.ly/9ALLVP. here’s the link to the lobbying report filed with congress but I think it’s fine if it’s cut.)
Guzman’s argument in her op-ed is wrong on every count. Equally wrong was the failure to tell the public why she might be making it.