I am a 52 year old African American woman with two daughters whom I support working as a secretary at a local hospital. I became prey to the payday loan industry when I became financially stressed by not having enough money to meet my family's needs.

I made a personal loan with Americash Loans LLC for $800.00 in November, 2006, approximately eighteen months ago. I was not able to pay them anything because I was struggling trying to pay off other loans. I was making more loans to pay off loans- a vicious cycle. Pay day loans have stunted my financial stability, blocked all resources for recovery, and has placed a stumbling- block in the pathway of becoming resourceful in a sinking economy-not to mention the psychological effects as well.

How is it that Americash Loans LLC of Missouri has sought means for garnishment on an $800.00 personal loan and require that I pay them back a whopping sum of $7787.54 accrued within an eighteen month period? How can this be legal, acceptable and supported in a court of law? How can their false advertisement be considered a warning to the borrower as to say "this is a short term loan", but the long-term effects of paying off the loans stems from their ability to impose extremely high interest rates which locks the borrower to pay back the loan for a life time? If I had $7,787.54 to give them, then it was totally unnecessary for me to have borrowed $800.00 in the first place.

Their escape route from being viewed as criminals is that they can use the contract you signed as a decision you made for yourself. People who are in desperate situations are not likely to sit for an hour trying to read a contract they can't understand, trying to focus on the fine print- with some you would need a magnifying glass to read, or try to determine what is the meaning of the legal terms and scripts they write within the agreement. It's almost like holding a blind man responsible for walking in front of a bus. Some customers cannot read and don't possess math comprehension concerning percentages and interest rates.

Somebody has to lead a person in their ignorance of being deceived, but payday loans are not designed for being honest or instructing their customers in their decisions. It's all to their advantage to rip off anyone and everyone who is in a financial struggle.

It's not likely that customers will be told, "oh, by the way, you will be paying back $7,000.00 if you default on the $800.00 you borrowed." Now that I understand that the arbitration law protects these criminals by literally forcing you to sign away your rights to sue them in order to get a loan, it actually give these criminals more leeway to continue unlawful lending practices and there's nothing the consumer can do about it.

Money is the bait used to trap poor and low-income families. Pay Day loan companies are setting up camp in every state and on every street corner. They're coming in the form of loan companies and title loan companies robbing people of their possessions by charging interest rates as high as 400%. The banks are ripping their consumers to shreds charging over-draft fees from bouncing checks ran through their account two times or more from pay day loan companies. I was $1.36 short on a pay day loan and by the time the bank got through with me I owed them $90.00 in overdraft fees.

How can the economy thrive when millions of people's paychecks is tied up in garnishments and bankruptcy courts? Healthcare costs is soaring because many have to be treated for mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and suicidal intentions? All costs are passed back to the consumer even though he's already in over his head. We are locked up in despair and loosing hope when you don't have enough money to buy food or gas to get to work, and no laws within the judicial system to execute justice and fairness for the people. How is it that their are laws that protect dogs, cats, and birds but none for consumers in the pay day loan scams? Many are becoming gambling addicts in hopes of winning money to get out of debt, but have been snagged in another net of total destruction of which I have also tasted the wares of that deceitful mirage.

So, if pay day loan companies should not be reformed or considered as criminals in their unlawful lending practices, then who really benefits from their services since it was designed to meet the needs of the people? It couldn't be for the people because statistics show that pay day loans has caused more chaos in the lives of the people than good. Think about it, does it benefit the lenders or the borrower, the economy or the legislators, the judge or the jury, the attorneys or their clients? The answer to these questions cries out everyday when you see another neon sign set up in your area or neighborhood for QUICK CASH.

Renee Anderson

How to Get Out of Debt in Five Steps

To get yourself out of debt you need a plan, and this article will help you create that plan. It won't always be easy, or very fun, but the reward pays you back ten-fold with less stress, and more discretionary income. (read How to Get Out of Debt)