Several people were protesting proposed rollbacks of federal consumer protections.
Leading the protest was Jonathan Barker, minster of Grace Lutheran Church, 2001 60th St. The rally was co-sponsored by the church, the ELCA Outreach Center and the Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group. Before marching down 60th Street to the loan store, the group gathered on the church’s front lawn and parking lot.
“Payday lenders target low-income borrowers already in financial distress, drawing them into a spiral of growing debt,” said Emma Fisher, WISPIRG event organizer. Citing statistics from the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions, she noted skyrocketing interest rates often hit 500 percent.
The rally called attention to a recent blow dealt to the government agency that had been working to change those dynamics.
“Some members of Congress are pushing to undo new protections for America’s most vulnerable consumers and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau,” Fisher said. She referred to proposed regulations to curb runaway interest rates levied by check-cashing companies finalized last October by the bureau.