Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas


June 27, 2014

Guest Commentary: Dr. Rick Lamb

Corsicana — There is an old saying that “the abuse of a harmless thing is the essence of sin.” (Attributed to either A.W. Tozer or C.S. Lewis, or both).  Simply put:  what is not necessarily a bad thing can become a bad thing when it’s abused. Such is the case with many Payday and Auto Title loans made in the state of Texas. Perhaps some of these businesses are dealing fairly and straightforwardly with their customers, but many of them are fleecing our fellow citizens with fees, charges, and payments that can exceed 600 percent interest.  

I know about this personally from people who have cried out to me, trapped in such loans. Desperate for cash, they borrowed $200 (for example) and end up repaying $600 in just a matter of weeks (if they are able to repay). One of the more detestable practices in my opinion is when these loan companies require the borrower to write the company post-dated checks. When the company deposits the post-dated check, if the account doesn’t have enough money to cover the check, the borrower is now in legal trouble for writing a “hot” check (insufficient funds).  

The high cost and structure of these loans often trap borrowers in a cycle of debt where they continually pay fees and interest but never pay down the loan. Data shows that in the first half of 2012, for example, 75 percent of borrowers had to refinance or “rollover” their loans and nearly 45 percent had to do so two or more times. Over 17,000 cars were repossessed — that’s nearly 95 every day. A new shift towards offering more “multiple installment” loans is also particularly troubling. Just look at what the data found about these loans: In the first quarter of 2012 the average installment loan of $606.50 resulted in a total average of $1,397.63 due at the end of a typical 98 day term. In the second quarter it was $1,691.51 due on a $558.99 loan. (Source:

These loans, of course, are made to people who are most vulnerable, and who are also fellow Texans. We need to help “reign in” these companies and practices. Reforms at the state level, so far, have been minimal. I have hope that reforms will eventually be made at the state level but, in the meantime, cities have taken matters into their own hands.  

Cities like Austin, Bryan, College Station, Midland and others have created ordinances that add common sense to control these businesses. One of the more prominent ordinances is to insure that the proceeds from each installment payment must reduce the principal by 25 percent.  Rollovers must have limits and some loans are limited to four payments.  

I made a request to our Mayor and City Council to look into what we could do to protect our citizens in Corsicana. I know it will take time and there will be some considerable debate. It seems to me that our city has more than our share of these types of business. That means more of our citizens are being fleeced and harmed.  

Let’s pray for God’s help and move forward deliberately with ordinances and standards that will eliminate these abuses.


Pastor Rick Lamb

Northside Baptist Church

Text Only
  • Dr Don Newbury 2014.jpg Old, new, borrowed, blue

       Dissection of notes found in the pocket of an old suit isn’t easy. Maybe they were scrawled during the lull in a wedding ceremony, or to jog my memory of a joke for later use.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dick Platt 2014.jpg Spam french fries

    I saw a relatively disturbing video and article on Yahoo which touted making Spam French fires to go alongside your big old ground chuck burger. I just can’t imagine a basket full of these deep-fried cholesterol-loaded sticks, but there they were, bigger than Texas.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Janet Jacobs Dumb and dumber in the blotter

    When it comes to dumb criminals, nothing beats the would-be gang of car burglars who tried to break into a car in Tampa, Florida, this past week.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Belcher, Bob.jpg ‘Change’ — old "buzz word" shows up in our town

    If you pay much attention when you’re driving around town lately (and I really hope that you do — pay attention, that is) you can’t help but admit we’ve seen some “change” as of late. And, contrary to the political connotations that word will forever carry with it now, that “change” we’re seeing is good.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bill Tinsley Germany present and past

    Last Sunday evening my wife and I stood on the balcony of our apartment in Nuremberg and watched as fireworks lit up the sky.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dr Don Newbury 2014.jpg Where strawberries are king

    In 1949, when Stilwell, Oklahoma’s “Strawberry Festival” was just one year old, crooners were applauded when they cut loose with Dear Hearts and Gentle People.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dick Platt 2014.jpg My TV is held hostage

    Give me back my TV! The Sunday sports fare today is just pitiful as far as I am concerned. Over the past weeks, my normal sports programs has been rudely preempted by endless hours of Wimbledon tennis, the Tour de France, assorted motor sports, and the nauseating mega-million signing sagas of LeBron James and Carmello Anthony

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Janet Jacobs Thoughts from abroad

    So, with the generosity of Mastercard and warm encouragement of my friends who went with me, I went to Italy on vacation. Not Italy, Texas, the one in Europe.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • deannakirk.jpg For a community that’s hurting

    I think all would agree that our community is hurting right now.
    It seems like some weeks, our quota of tragedy and loss just goes through the roof. This is one of those weeks.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bill Tinsley An inspiring life

    Last week, while Americans prepared their fireworks for the fourth of July, Louis Zamparini quietly slipped the bonds of this earth at the age of 97.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims The Rock Brings Star Power to Premiere Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return
Featured Ads
Twitter Updates