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Public Statements

Stop Predatory Lending to Military

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. CARNAHAN. Mr. Speaker, I rise to warn of the danger to our Armed Forces and their families not on the battlefield, but here on American soil.

The Military Spending Act, passed in 2006, stopped much of the predatory lending that once sunk its claws into our military families, but loopholes remain.

The rent-to-own industry constructs stores outside our military bases, while car title lenders and Internet payday lenders find ways around the law by creating open-end loans with interest topping 500 percent.

A counselor at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri, reports that most servicemembers seeking financial counseling are burdened with expensive rent-to-own contracts. One soldier earning less than $1,000 a month paid nearly $500 a month in furniture rent.

The Senate recently held hearings on this, and the Senate version of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2013 would mandate regulating open-end credit loans and close the loopholes.

This must change. I will continue to work with my colleagues in the House and the Senate to address this problem. We must add rent-to-own and open-ended loans to ``covered'' credit and stop the use of allotments for military pay for credit.

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