Northwest Title Loans: Not exactly goodfellas

By Angela Martin of Portland, Oregon. Angela is an economic-fairness advocate at Our Oregon. This is part two of two.

Yesterday, I told you about the dirty tactics of Northwest Title Loans. They are running a massive PR campaign to mislead lawmakers and citizens and are bribing and intimidating their customers into opposing legislation that would save borrowers money. Just who ARE these people?

Northwest Title Loans has been operating in Oregon since 1998 and has 17 storefronts across the state and is part of the predatory lending empire owned by Roderick Aycox of Atlanta, Georgia.

A profile of Aycox in the Atlanta Journal Constitution last year reported that he operates 150 car title stores in 18 states. His company has two private jets, and he drives a $128,000 Mercedes.

According to court documents in a story reported by Willamette Week, and other newspaper interviews, Aycox says that he entered the car title lending industry thanks to the financial backing of Alvin Malnik, the notorious associate of mafia figure Meyer Lansky.

The Oregonian has also reported on Malnik, his ties to Northwest Title Loans, and his connections to the mob:

The New Jersey Casino Control Commission denied Malnik a casino license in 1980, citing, among other things, his long association with mob financier Meyer Lansky. The commission ruled that Malnik was "a person of unsuitable character and unsuitable reputation." And in 1993 the commission disciplined two Atlantic City casinos for allowing Malnik to set foot in them. - "Disputed Title Lender Bankrolls Republicans," July 10, 2000.

Now, after nearly a decade of stonewalling from Republican leadership in the House, Oregon's state legislature is debating several bills that would cap interest rates on payday, car title, and other predatory lending.

Our Oregon and the Economic Fairness Coalition has issued its strongest endorsement for House Bill 2871, sponsored by Speaker of the House Jeff Merkley. The bill will be heard in the House Consumer Protection Committee at 1:00 on Wednesday.

We need your help. Please sign this petition in support of House Bill 2871 then forward it to your friends.

We can't give you a cappuccino gift certificate, but we can promise you that if this bill passes, you'll know that you played a part in stopping loan sharking in Oregon.

  • Fast cash from fast Eddy (unverified)

    So, the mob is basically buying TV time in Oregon pretending to be saving old lady's lives.

    Unbelievable, yet it makes so much sense. Payday loans, car title's all just legalized loan sharking.

    Nice work exposing the mob, Angela. Try not to step in any cement shoes!

  • Ted Foster (unverified)

    [Off-topic conspiracy theories deleted. -editor.]

  • Aaron V. (unverified)

    This is a more accurate description of title loans, as compared to the commercial with the lady who needed her insulin, and who'd die along with her pet if she didn't have access to credit at 300-700% interest.

    Northwest Title Loans' ties to someone black-booked from Atlantic City casinos makes the YouTube video even more appropriate...

  • Lee Kerney (unverified)

    People see loan sharks to gamble, or to cover some seedy expense and keep it a secret. People see title lenders to cover legit emergency expenses like ambulance rides or veterinary bills. All over this issue people accuse users of this service of being stupid or criminal. I myself have taken out a title loan when my DeWalt drill died. I got the loan, got the drill and kept the job. Take away that recourse and a lot of people just might end up going to these loan sharks you seem so familiar with.

  • (Show?)

    Lee, are you being paid by this loan industry to shill for 'em?

  • Lee Kerney (unverified)

    LOL. Like to pay off my loan?

    No, Kari. I took out a loan, it helped me, that's all. Ever since, I've paid attention to this issue, and I've seen people like me called all kinds of things for taking out a loan. Stupid, ignorant, on crack, and now a shill. It's prejudice like any other assumption.

  • Concerned (unverified)

    Do you by chance have proof of the activities of bribing and intimidation??? Or is this just dirt you are throwing around??

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