Protesting usury laws and concerned about rising foreclosures, agroup of religious leaders visited credit unions and banks indowntown Durham, N.C. as part of what was described as aninternational crusade, called "10% Is Enough."

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The peaceful stopovers by ministers under the Metro IndustrialArea Foundation umbrella targeted all three of Durham's communitydevelopment CUs with "white papers" urging a 10% cap on rates andnew financial attention to prevent foreclosures.

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"A few of the group members did come here and leave us one ofthe white papers," said Linwood Bowen, president/CEO of the $28million Generations Community CU. The 50-member group, which stageda rally at a Durham business plaza, had slated stops at the $347Self-Help CU, the $73 million Latino Community CU, SunTrust Bankand Mechanics and Farmers Bank.

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Metro IAF said its white paper, developed by scholars at eighttheological schools in North Carolina and titled "TheologicalReflections on the Economy," was being distributed internationallyat events in New York, Boston, London and other cities.

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Martin Eakes, president/CEO of Self-Help, acknowledged thegroup's concerns and also noted that the job of lending "can getsomeone deeper into a hole just with the passage of time and noother action."

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Separately, Bowen of Generations lamented the loss of a peerCDCU. Wednesday the NCUA placed $1.2 million New Hope Community FCUof Birmingham, Ala. into conservatorship. "This is a real loss forthose people who need this kind of an institution the most," Bowensaid.

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