Protesting usury laws and concerned about rising foreclosures, a group of religious leaders visited credit unions and banks in downtown Durham, N.C. as part of what was described as an international crusade, called "10% Is Enough."
The peaceful stopovers by ministers under the Metro Industrial Area Foundation umbrella targeted all three of Durham's community development CUs with "white papers" urging a 10% cap on rates and new financial attention to prevent foreclosures.
"A few of the group members did come here and leave us one of the white papers," said Linwood Bowen, president/CEO of the $28 million Generations Community CU. The 50-member group, which staged a rally at a Durham business plaza, had slated stops at the $347 Self-Help CU, the $73 million Latino Community CU, SunTrust Bank and Mechanics and Farmers Bank.
Metro IAF said its white paper, developed by scholars at eight theological schools in North Carolina and titled "Theological Reflections on the Economy," was being distributed internationally at events in New York, Boston, London and other cities.
Martin Eakes, president/CEO of Self-Help, acknowledged the group's concerns and also noted that the job of lending "can get someone deeper into a hole just with the passage of time and no other action."
Separately, Bowen of Generations lamented the loss of a peer CDCU. Wednesday the NCUA placed $1.2 million New Hope Community FCU of Birmingham, Ala. into conservatorship. "This is a real loss for those people who need this kind of an institution the most," Bowen said.