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Movie, Panel to Focus on Topeka Predatory Lending

Originally posted CJOnline.com

By Tim Hrenchir

Posted Apr 15, 2018 at 7:50 PM

A movie showing and panel discussion Tuesday will focus on predatory lending in Topeka.

Topeka JUMP, Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas and the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library will host a screening of “Spent: Looking for Change” from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday in Marvin Auditorium Room 101 at the library, 1515 S.W. 10th.

After the movie, a panel of experts will discuss predatory lending in the Topeka community, Topeka JUMP said in a news release.

The movie, produced by filmmaker Davis Guggenheim, is about everyday Americans who lack the financial options most people take for granted and must resort to using pawn shops, check cashing services and payday loans.

Guggenheim previously produced and directed “An Inconvenient Truth,” a film about global warming that won the Academy Award in 2007 for Best Documentary Feature.

Sylvian Arceneaux, Kansas Loan Pool Project program specialist for Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas, said in the news release that organizers of Tuesday’s event plan to pack the room with “people who have been caught in this cycle of debt, community leaders we look to for help, and local interest groups.”

Arceneaux encouraged people from all sectors of the community to “attend this event and stand united on a way forward that thwarts the vicious cycle of predatory lending many people fall into.”

The release quoted a story published in October in The Topeka Capital-Journal as putting payday lending into perspective last year by noting that a payday loan customer who borrows $300 and has it out for five months of the year would repay a total of about $750.

“This practice often harms the most vulnerable members of our society, which perpetuates inequality and incentivizes irresponsible behavior,” the Rev. Carl Frazier of Topeka JUMP said in the release.

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