[quote]November 21, 2007
Are You a Member of the PLA?
If you keep up on payday loan news at all, then you have probably at least heard of the CFSA. The Community Financial Services Association of America is the nationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s largest trade organization of cash advance lenders, and one of the fast cash loan industryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s biggest supporters and financial backers. Many states facing legislation of these ubiquitously unpopular, short-term personal loan products have spun off their own coalitions, including the District of Columbia Financial Services Association (DCFSA) and, most recently, the Arizona Financial Services Association (AFSA). These associations claim to be pro-consumer, and allege to want to help lawmakers establish Ã¢â‚¬Å“equitableÃ¢â‚¬Â payday loan legislation. It isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t a stretch to see where this claim could seem spurious to naysayers.
Hence, the rise of Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Predatory Lending Association,Ã¢â‚¬Â or PLA. No, you arenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t misreading that. The PLA is a spoof of cash advance lending trade groups, based around the website created by humorist Mike Mathieu. If you are familiar with The OnionÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s broad satire, then you will get the point. This faux fast cash loan loan industry associationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s mission statement is, Ã¢â‚¬Å“to [extract] maximum profit from the working poor by increasing payday loan fees and debt traps.Ã¢â‚¬Â The statement goes on to Ã¢â‚¬Å“reclaimÃ¢â‚¬Â the word Ã¢â‚¬Å“predator,Ã¢â‚¬Â by pointing out that the very patriotic American Eagle is one, and embraces the working poor as Ã¢â‚¬Å“an exciting, fast-growing demographic.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Payday loan opponents will undoubtedly find more than a trace of dark humor in the PLA, but real cash advance personal loan industry leaders are unlikely to be amused. This lampoon of the burgeoning American fast cash loan industry also features a Google-style map tracker showing clusters of lenders in poor neighborhoods and around military bases[/quote]