Two Woonsocket Panelists To Speak During Finance Advice Robo-Calls Today

Random Rhode Islanders will be invited to RI Treasurer's teleconference.


If you're among the 10,000 randomly chosen RI phone numbers for the RI Treasurer's series of robo-calls between 5 and 6 p.m., you're about to get some spontaneous information about RI Treasury initiatives and warnings about payday lending.

Two of the panelists on RI Treasurer Gina M. Raimondo's Empower RI telephone town hall hail from Woonsocket: Margaux Morisseau of the Payday Lending Reform Coalition and Rita Gandhi of Family Resources Community Action, who will speak about the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

Raimondo is hosting the session to raise awareness about Treasury’s financial empowerment initiatives, including the Rhode Island Financial Coaching Corps.

The call will also cover how to access the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and how to avoid the pitfalls of pay day lending in Rhode Island.

“Far too many Rhode Islanders face challenges that might have been avoided through a greater understanding of personal finance,” Raimondo said. “A telephone town hall is a convenient way for people to learn about the many ways to give and to get financial help. Financially empowered Rhode Islanders can play a role in our economic recovery.” Since coming into office, finding innovative ways to help Rhode Islanders better manage their finances has been a top priority for Raimondo.

In addition to Morisseau and Gandhi, she'll be joined by:  

  • Andy Posner of the Capital Good Fund on how to join or access the Rhode Island Financial Coaching Corps
  • Reverend Dr. Donald Anderson, member of the Interfaith Coalition to Reduce Poverty

 Rhode Islanders are struggling financially:

  • Sixty- seven percent say they have difficulty covering expenses and paying bills
  • Sixty-four percent have no funds for emergencies
  • The number of pay day loans doubled between 2008-2011

Calls will be made throughout Rhode Island today around 5 p.m., inviting participation. The phone numbers selected for participation are chosen at random from across the state. 

Still Hope February 05, 2013 at 09:32 PM
"In 2005, for example, "banks, thrifts and credit unions collected a record $37.8 billion in service charges on accounts, more than double what they got in 1994". One of the newest and most profitable charges is the "overdraft fee," now offered by more than 80 percent of all big banks, which costs checking account customers more than $10 billion a year. Between 1994 and 1999, bank overdraft fees increased by 17 percent." "Because overdraft fees are classified as fees and not interest-bearing loans by financial regulators, these fees neither fall under usury laws nor federal truth-in-lending regulations. If they did, they would translate into triple and quadruple-digit annual interest rates, just as high or higher than many payday loan rates." "A "payday loan" is a short-term loan made for seven to 30 days for a small amount. Eighty percent of all payday loans across the country are reportedly less than $300. Fees charged on payday loans generally range from $15 to $30 on each $100 advanced. Thus, a typical example would be that in exchange for a $300 advance until the next payday, the borrower writes a postdated check for $300 and receives $255 in cash-the lender taking a $45 fee off the top." http://www.econ.brown.edu/fac/Kfir_Eliaz/Pay_Day_Loans.pdf I've never used a payday loan personally, but I sure have paid my fair share in overdraft and late fees...both on credit cards and from checking accounts.
Nelson Aldrich February 06, 2013 at 12:08 PM
How about a "financially empowered" local government that's prepared for the bad times as well as the good.Send Raimondo over to City Hall....aah,nevermind.


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