29 August 2005
The Honorable Elizabeth Dole
United States Senate
555 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Senator Dole:
FRA commends you for sponsoring an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (S. 1042), that would establish requirements with respect to the terms of consumer credit extended by a creditor to a service member or the dependent of a service member.
FRA strongly encourages its adoption. Recent media reports provide images of streets leading to military bases littered with businesses offering “fast cash loans.” A visit to one of the installations cited in the attached article will quickly authenticate these charges. More importantly, it demonstrates a clear need for Congressional action.
The men and women who volunteer to serve in the military often enlist straight out of high school. Understandably, they have limited experience in financial matters. The average Seaman or Private already lives on a relatively low income, and cannot afford to be saddled with ridiculously high interest loans and other indebtedness. The actions of these predators should be punishable by federal law.
FRA salutes your leadership in working to create a policy to hold these establishments accountable, and stands ready to assist you and your staff in working toward the advancement of this important initiative.
JOSEPH L. BARNES
National Executive Secretary