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My name is Barb Kalbach, I am a fourth-generation family farmer and nurse from rural Iowa and a longtime member of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (CCI).

Last week I called the offices of Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan to tell him to stop financing payday lenders. I talked to a young man Moynihan’s office and told him that I thought payday lending was an outrageous, predatory practice, and if Bank of America was serious about investing in communities they would get out of the business completely.

I told him that I live near Creston, IA, a small town of about 5,000 people that has a community college, a large nursing home, and three payday lenders.

Now, why in the world would a town of just 5,000 people need three payday lenders? In this case, I believe it is because they are targeting the students and aging population of Creston. They are preying on people who might fall into a desperate situation and making people poor. Every year in Iowa nearly $40 million leaves our cash-strapped state in fees to out of state payday lending corporations.

I told that young man in Moynihan’s office that there’s no other way to describe what these payday lenders are doing except to call it disgusting. I told him that as long as Bank of America continued to finance payday lenders, I wasn’t going to be doing any business with Bank of America. To be a huge bank, to take from the poor in such a shady way, is just so unethical. I told them they should be doing something positive – take that money and invest in communities. Bring that money back to places like Creston, a community that could really use some fresh development.

I highly suggest that those who are fed up with big bank greed go to to find out how to take action on this issue. National People's Action lays out the payday loan problem with a little dark humor, calling out the Big Banks on their unmitigated gall in helping loan sharks target the people who are suffering the most from the economic meltdown they created; and for becoming loan sharks themselves.

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