Jeff Merkley liveblogs at Kos

Over at, Speaker Jeff Merkley is answering questions about predatory lending - and how he'll expand on his efforts at the federal level.

Now that so many American families are stuck in the housing crisis, more are forced to turn to these predatory lenders for short-term loans with sky-high inntestrates, just to make ends met. Costing $4.2 billion annually, 90% of these loans are made to borrowers who make five or more of these loans per year.

As a U.S. Senator, I'll continue to take on the predatory lenders and crack down on payday loan sharks and credit card scams.

I propse to:

*Cap payday loans at a national rate of 36%
*Restrict payday loans made on the internet under a national standard
*Require the Federal Trade Commission to crack down on deceptive practices.

Republican Senator Gordon Smith has sided with this industry, voting against protecting families from these lenders. In 2001, Smith voted against a proposal that would have invalidated claims by predatory lenders in bankruptcy court if the lender charged more than 100% interest.

Enough is enough. It's time for leaders in Washington DC. to stand up to this industry. We need to crack down on payday loan sharks and protect hardworkin familes who are trying to make it. That's exactly what I'll do in the U.S Senate.

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