ATLANTA — Well, that's easy, Renee McKoy thought, seeing the offer. The metro Atlanta woman knew she could buy shoes and groceries online. So why not also try to shop for a loan? She clicked an email link, squiggled a digital signature and watched $800 pop into her bank account. What she didn't realize was that she had been lured into a scheme that skirts Georgia's law banning payday lending. McKoy ended up owing three times the amount of her loan, a federal lawsuit says. Avoiding usury laws Payday lenders have slipped past state attempts at regulation with various ploys, critics say. These are among the strategies that have fueled controversies:› Partnering with Indian tribes: In 2017, Georgia reached a settlement with an online lender accused of a scheme to avoid the state’s usury and payday lending laws. Western Sky Financial and affiliates used a shell company affiliated with a Native American tribal entity to avoid the state’s usury and payday lending … [Read more...] about Scheme skirts Georgia’s law banning payday lending
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COLUMBUS, Ga.—Ed Harbison remembers Jim Crow. The segregated schools, the no-go theaters, the colored-only water fountains. The white supremacist siege of the First Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, where Martin Luther King, Jr., was trapped inside, and Harbison was, too. The white folks telling his mother she couldn’t vote unless she could answer how many beans were in a jar, or how wet water was. Harbison is now a Democratic state senator from Georgia, and the Deep South has changed radically in his 72 years on its soil. Sometimes, though, he reflects on how it hasn’t changed—like when he reflects on the high-profile race for governor pitting Stacey Abrams, a progressive African-American Democrat who used to run a voting rights nonprofit, against Brian Kemp, the conservative white Republican secretary of state who is mired in multiple voting rights controversies. Harbison is rooting for Abrams to become the first black woman governor of any American … [Read more...] about Democrats Say Republicans Are Stealing the Midterms. Are They Right?