Thumbs up and down

Feb. 17, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

Thumbs down: Payday lending bill

High-interest “payday lending” was nixed in North Carolina a decade ago. Most of us remember the proliferation of lenders of small amounts of money (up to $500) for short terms (as long as 35 days) and astronomical interest rates (up to 15 percent), making the loans on the proviso of holding post-dated checks from the borrowers. The feeling back then was that payday lenders prowled on those struggling financially, trapping them in a never-ending cycle of debt as one small loan at high interest was paid back and another taken out. Some such lenders found ways to flout the law and stay in business; the last so-called “storefront lender” closed in 2006, and other more traditional banks have mostly stopped the practice.

But three Republican lawmakers have filed a bill (SB89) which would effectively allow payday loans – yes, high-interest loans made on post-dated checks – to start again.

Good for N. C. Attorney General Roy Cooper, who called the bill an attempt to perpetrate “the same old rip-off we ran out of our state years ago.”

We hope legislators have the good sense to continue to limit the reach of predatory lenders – and that SB89 dies a quiet death.

Thumbs up: Lindy Mace

Longevity is deserving of recognition. Lindy Mace, 78, of Sanford, received such recognition this week with a surprise party held in his honor.

The party was held as Mace is celebrating his 50th anniversary with Lee-Moore Capital Company. The company's name, leadership and field have changed, but Mace continues his service with the company. And, he plans to keep on working.

Kirk Bradley, who leads Lee-Moore, said of Mace: "He's always ready to do what's needed, literally, morning, noon and night, seven days a week."

Lindy Mace's work ethic and dedication should serve as an inspiration to all of us in the working world of today.

Thumbs up: Easter Seals and Food Lion

It would be wonderful if there was no need for the Easter Seals organization, which does a fantastic job helping people of all ages living with developmental, physical or mental disabilities or other special needs. But, the fact remains, there is a need for Easter Seals. And, there is a need for the general public to lend a helping hand to Easter Seals.

Easter Seals' Shop and Care program is now under way, as Food Lion shoppers have from now until March 12 to donate to the cause. Those shoppers, in return for a $1 donation, will receive a coupon book with $9.50 worth of deals. Also, whenever people buy either Food Lion brand water or specially marked cereal boxes from General Mills, those companies will donate money as well.

It's certainly a win-win for Easter Seals and Food Lion shoppers.