Soaries To Announce National Church Campaign Against Payday Lenders

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The Rev. DeForest “Buster” Soaries on Oct. 30 will announce a national boycott by black churches of the payday lending industry.

A national campaign by black churches against the payday loan industry will kick off Oct. 30 at the 4th annual dFree Financial Freedom Conference at First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens on Route 27.

Led by FBCLG senior pastor, the Rev. DeForest Soaries, the campaign will call for a boycott of payday lenders. Payday lenders offer short-term loans at high interest rates.

“Payday loans are the crack cocaine of the financial services industry,” DeForest said in a release about the event. “There are more payday loan stores in America than there are Starbucks and McDonalds combined. They are mostly located in black and low‐income neighborhoods.”

“This saturation of alternative financial outlets combined with a ubiquitous presence of these predatory products on the web makes the payday industry the most powerful threat to financial freedom we have ever encountered,” he said in the release. “It’s time for black churches to do to predatory lending what we did to Jim Crow. We will launch our strategy at this conference.”

During the conference, Tom Byrne, chairman of the New Jersey Investment Council will announce the Council’s commitment to honor New Jersey Citizen Action’s and Soaries’ request to divest the $50 million that it has invested in a hedge fund that finances payday lending, according to the release.

Soaries said the campaign will try to create alternatives to payday lenders to provide small loans that banks do not.

The conference will take place at the church from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Oct. 30 and from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 31. For more information, visit www.mydfree.org.

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