January 11th, 2022
New Jersey Citizen Action Financial Justice Program Director Beverly Brown Ruggia released the following statement today.
“New Jersey Citizen Action applauds Assembly Speaker Coughlin for holding legislation that would have allowed predatory payday lending products to target low-wage workers and potentially trap them in a destructive cycle of debt. The Speaker put the interests of New Jersey workers ahead of the fintech and payroll companies seeking to enrich themselves at our families’ expense.
“S3611/A3650 would place no fee limits on what payroll advance companies could charge workers for early access to earned wages, allowing those companies to skirt New Jersey’s lending laws designed to protect against exactly this kind of outrageous interest rates. Without these protections, workers could be easily charged the equivalent of 365 percent annual rates for payday advances. It exploits those in dire financial straits who have little choice but to accept these impossible interest rates to make ends meet.
“This abhorrent legislation was released out of committee and passed with no fanfare, no public opportunity for comment, and no transparency. This bill will set a dangerous precedent that leaves workers unprotected from predatory lending in New Jersey and across the nation.
“We urge all our Legislators to ensure New Jersey has the appropriate and sufficient protections in place for consumer loans and to continue to defend our state’s most important consumer financial protections.”