By Bill Britt
Alabama Political Reporter
In this Legislative Session, the fight to further restrict payday and other small lending operations began with half-truths, false claims of support, and conservative lawmakers making common cause with the State’s most liberal organization.
Under the notion of protecting lower income families, single mothers, and minorities from themselves, a campaign called, Alabama’s Toxic Problem was launched featuring Dr. Neal Berte, President-Emeritus, Birmingham-Southern College. Dr. Berte solemnly recounts what he see as the horrors of payday lending. Perhaps the irony of a former banking board member and president of a private university who lives at a “tony” Mountain Brook address championing the cause of those who need a $500 loan is lost on the well-heeled who are paying for the ads, extolling the many pitfall of small borrowing for necessities. The irony is not lost on the individuals who need a small loan.