Payday Lending & Remittances

Learn more about ACORN Canada's groundbreaking campaigns regulate payday lending and international remittances and money transfers.

Toronto Star: Immigrants gouged on money transfers

December 10th, 2010 by Carol Goar in the Toronto Star

They fought to get their landlords to clean up their cockroach-infested apartments and won. They fought to get payday lenders to lower their astronomical borrowing rates and won. Now ACORN Canada, a network of low-income Canadians, is embarking on its most ambitious project.

It has just launched a campaign to get North American banks to reduce the “predatory” fees they charge immigrants and migrant workers to transfer money to their families back home.

ACORN made its first move Monday. It released a report showing the rates charged by Canada’s chartered banks, their American counterparts and two money-transfer companies to send $100 to various destinations.

The figures were startling. Fees ranged from $3.70 to $66.25 (not including the pickup charges usually imposed at the receiving end).

Here is a sample, using a transfer of $100 from Toronto to Mexico:

• MoneyGram, which has the lowest fees, charges between $3 and $10 (depending on the service and destination) plus an exchange rate fee of 70 cents for a maximum total of $10.70.

International Day of Action for Remittance Reform

ACORN Canada Members will be holding protests in 4 cities across Canada in a coordinated day of protest with allies in 7 other countries calling for reform of the global remittance system.

The major players in the Global Remittance market like MoneyGram, Western Union, Scotia Bank, HSBC and others charge excessively high rates that hurt immigrant families here in Canada and keep much needed resources out of the developing world.

Click here to sign the Remittance Reform Pledge to support the campaign and receive updates about the campaign.

Ontario Payday Loan Rate Cap Gets Cabinet Approval

When ACORN began organizing around payday lending 5 years ago there were no rules, no licenses, and no rate caps; it was the wild west of lending.

On Friday the Government of Ontario announced that the cabinet has approved the new rate cap and that the provisions of The Payday Loan Act will be coming into effect over the coming months.

ACORN considers the key provisions of the legislation – banning rollover loans, licensing of lenders, 48 hour cooling off period – to be important victories, and an acknowledgement of the predatory practices that had become synonymous with the industry.

Ontario Payday Loan Next Steps

Feb 6, 2009 - Today the Board established by the Province of Ontario to make a recommendation on the cap for payday loan rates released their report. It calls for payday loan costs to be capped at $21 for every $100 borrowed.

While we hoped for a stronger rate cap, we urge the McGuinty administration to act quickly to make this recommendation law.  We are calling on Minister of Small Business and Consumer Protections (MPP Harindar Takhar) to immediately bring the issue to cabinet and to advocate for its quick approval.

 

This may not be the rate cap ACORN members wanted, but it's still a major victory.  When ACORN began organizing around payday lending, there were no rules, no licenses, and no rate caps; it was the wild west of lending.

Today most Provinces have brought in regulation to curb the most predatory of the practices in the industry, and slowly their bringing in rate caps to prevent excessive fee's and interest.

It's about time.

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