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Son fighting for tougher policies after mom takes out loan to fuel gambling addiction

3 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago Wednesday, May 29 2024 May 29, 2024 May 29, 2024 7:15 PM May 29, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - His mom took out a loan to fuel her gambling addiction. She lost the money and is at risk of losing her car after putting up the title for collateral.

Michael Wilson contacted 2 On Your Side hoping that loan businesses will change their policies.

"I hope they do better because they're ruining lives," Wilson said.

At the end of April, Wilson's mom visited a loan business in Gonzales and took out a loan for $600, but with additional fees, insurance, and 42% interest, she owes almost $2,000. Wilson says his mom, who is 86, has attended Gamblers Anonymous meetings, is on a fixed income and filed for bankruptcy twice in the past six years.

"She's a good lady, just likes to gamble too much," he said.

The loan term is 18 months. In exchange for the $600, the loan company had Wilson's mom put up her car title as collateral.

"To me, that's just predatory," he said.

Wilson pays his mom's bills and gets an alert on her credit report, which is how he found out about the loan. He can't understand why someone gave her a loan.

Anyone 18 and older is eligible to apply for a consumer loan in Louisiana and a customer's spending habits are often not taken into account. Bankruptcy does not disqualify or eliminate a consumer from receiving a loan in Louisiana.

"They took her car title for $600, that's predatory! They should have some type of policy or at least ask the people what's going on - why do you need $600," Wilson said..

Title loans are only legal in about half of the United States. Credit history is not accounted for, since the car title itself is the collateral. They're typically high-interest and short-term.

"She lost the money on May 3, the full $600 she gambled it away," Wilson said.

After what happened to his mom, Wilson hopes things will change for the next person and that loan companies like the one she went to are more inquisitive.

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