Furlong Lies Again: Amendment U Will Not End High-Interest Rate Loans

Shockingly, Lisa Furlong, the payday lenders’ stooge acting as sponsor of the fake 18% rate cap ballot initiative, emerges from Cheneyesque limbo to comment publicly on the Secretary of State’s rejection of my challenge to her shady petition.

Even more shockingly, Lisa Furlong has the gall to tell this bald-faced lie:

Lisa Furlong, public Facebook post, 2015.04.05.
Yeah, I’d need a couple big drinks, too, to tell lies that big.

Lisa Furlong, the constitutional amendment’s sponsor, said she was glad, though not surprised that the challenge was unsuccessful, as the measure had tens of thousands of signatures.”The support for our cause of ending high-interest rate loans, while defending free market principles continues to grow and we are glad that South Dakotans will have the opportunity to voice their support once more when they go to the polls in November,” Furlong said in a statement [Dana Ferguson, “Payday Lending Amendment to Remain on Ballot,” that Sioux Falls paper, 2016.05.19].

Let me resist blog hyperbole and refer to the text of Furlong’s Amendment U itself:

That article VI of the Constitution of South Dakota be amended by adding new sections to read as follows:

  1. No lender may charge interest for the loan or use of money in excess of eighteen per cent per annum unless the borrower agrees to another rate in writing. No law fixing an annual percentage rate of interest for the loan or use of money is valid unless the law provides borrowers the right to contract at interest rates as may be agreed to by the parties.
  2. No law fixing a rate of interest or return for the loan or use of money, or fixing the service or any other charge that may be made or imposed for the loan or use of money, for any particular group or class engaged in lending money is valid. Any rate of interest or charge fixed by law shall apply generally and to all lenders without regard to the type or classification of the lender’s business.

If Furlong’s cause were really “ending high-interest rate loans,” her Amendment U would stop with its first full sentence: “No lender may charge interest for a loan or the use of money in excess of eighteen per cent per annum.” However, Amendment U continues with this important qualifier: “…unless the borrower agrees to another rate in writing.” Since every commercial loan involves some written agreement, Amendment U does nothing to end commercial high-interest rate loans in South Dakota.

If Furlong’s cause were really “ending high-interest rate loans,” her Amendment U would not include the subsequent clauses that will void any other genuine rate caps, like the honest 36% payday lender rate cap offered by Initiated Measure 21. Her Amendment U would also not be an amendment to the constitution, which makes makes it impossible for the Legislature to meaningfully cap interest rates. Only another ballot initiative could overturn Amendment U’s protection of the payday lending industry, and citizens would have to circulate petitions for another constitutional amendment, not just an initiated law, meaning they have to gather twice as many signatures to call for a public vote.

I’m won’t even try to come up with the verbal gymnastics necessary to qualify Furlong’s statement as truth, because I’m not being paid to come up with such sophistry. Lisa Furlong is lying on behalf of the payday lenders. Lisa Furlong wants to write the payday lenders’ lies into our state constitution. Vote against lies; vote against Amendment U.

21 Responses to Furlong Lies Again: Amendment U Will Not End High-Interest Rate Loans

  1. As Al Franken would say, “lies and the lying liars who tell them.”

  2. oldguy7850

    and this surprises anybody?

  3. dead meat packing industry lawyer’s wife needs to maintain her Dakota dunes lifestyle of the rich and [in]famous). sigh :(

  4. mike from iowa

    Master-you have cried wolf enough times the message should have gotten through to the voters.

    Hopefully the wolves will partake of a furlong of Lisa before the election and the public will know you for the saviour thou ist.

  5. mike from iowa


    This shows how to calculate you payday loan rate for either 14 days of per $100 dollars. Everyone needs a copy of this and need to bone up on their math.

  6. Amendment U is misleading. It reads, “No lender may charge interest for the loan or use of money in excess of eighteen per cent per annum unless the borrower agrees to another rate in writing.” No commercial loan is made without a written contract. Therefore Amendment U makes no attempt to limit the interest rate. Don’t be fooled.

  7. mike from iowa

    Maybe the courts will force payday lenders to honor the 18% rate. Apparently the highest law enforcement officer in S Dakota isn’t concerned about truthiness in potential constitutional amendments.

    I know- I know that isn’t his job. Just what is his job?

  8. Lanny V Stricherz

    To answer your ? mfi, to find that a guy who is gut shot, and put the gun back up against the tree, committed suicide.

  9. mike from iowa

    When it comes to resolving issues pertaining to personal loan agreements than carry an interest rate beyond the 15% level, there appears to be something of two prong approach in South Dakota. First of all, if an individual or commercial enterprise appears to be engaging in a pattern or practice of extending loans to individuals with interest rates above and beyond the 15% level, courts likely will strike down loan agreements from such individuals or companies as being illegal. There will be no enforcement of the loan agreement whatsoever because of the interest rate beyond the 15% level — and because of the repetitive practice of charging such interest rates.

    On the other hand, if a loan agreement containing an interest rate above 15% is the result of error or is not part of an ongoing and more extensive practice, it is likely that a court will refashion the loan agreement to correct the interest rate downward to an appropriate level. Otherwise the personal loan agreement will remain in force and in effect.

    The statutes and regulations governing inte

  10. What worries me is the emotional involvement and forced logic of the writer following these amendments. Instead of describing facts there is more of an emotional outcry. I don’t see payday lenders out dragging people off the streets and forcing them to sign these contracts. Does everyone reading this understand what an Apr is and how it works? Because if you break it down, few places charge more than 25% per month… that’s the average credit card rate for college students, folks, let’s not play it down to be worse than any other lending structure or any different than a high rate credit card.

  11. Oh, look! Spam from indsutry sock puppets, trying to misportray what is being said here.

    I need no emotion, just logic, to say that Lisa Furlong’s statement, like the fake rate cap, is a lie.

    We understand that APR means “Annual Percentage Rate.” We understand that comparison to a monthly rate of 25% is sloppy and illogical.

    We understand that payday loans really are worse than any other credit product on the market in terms of interest rates. We understand that payday lenders, more than any other legal lender, exploit the emotions of customers, cause them to act out of desperation rather than cold financial logic, and trap those unfortunate individuals in loans they cannot afford.

  12. So, because I am a customer to lenders like this I am a spammer? I’m sorry, but I don’t understand that logic. I use these loans regularly, they were financing me when I needed to fix my vehicle, or travel back home to my country when my mother died. They told me what the interest rate was for the full Apr at dollar loan center and explained that it isn’t intended to be kept out for the full term but give the option to do that. Just because another doesn’t understand doesn’t mean it’s all bad. Just because I would rather work with these lenders when a bank turns me down doesn’t mean they are out to get me. Or anyone else. They ask me about my income and bills just like a bank would and I never paid full price on their loans because I paid it down right away. Just like my credit card when I went to school for business and finance. Maybe customers just need better education on how the loan works before they take them out.

  13. mike from iowa

    When did payday lenders ever care about a customer’s ability to pay back a loan at usurious rates?

  14. mike from iowa

    Yusef-how many loans have you gotten with just your verbal promise to repay it?

  15. It’s a contract no matter where you go. Just like the dealership gave me when I bought my car. I wouldn’t trust anyone’s verbal promise to pay me money back, would you? I mean, really, there is a fine line between them giving you what they think you can afford and you taking what you really can afford.

  16. mike from iowa

    Now read this- No lender may charge interest for the loan or use of money in excess of eighteen per cent per annum unless the borrower agrees to another rate in writing.

    Do you think payday lenders will agree to 18% interest when they swear they can’t make money at 36% interest? Do you think they will let you dictate the rate of interest you pay?

  17. Lanny V Stricherz

    Yusef, I can certainly see your point, but I have posted some of these things on here in the past. When I was a young man here in Sioux Falls, we had one pawn shop and only a couple of lenders other than banks. With the advent of video lottery gambling, the volume of these types of businesses skyrocketed. So not only was the state of South Dakota complicit in this mess, with using video lottery instead of some other form of tax to (originally fund education). People who could not afford to gamble and even some who could, became addicted to it and lost their shirts and ended up pawning things that they owned and also going to the payday lenders to try to meet their obligations. Other people because of illness or loss of job also borrowed from the payday lenders.

    A second piece of this puzzle is that the payday lenders in addition to setting up around casinos and pawn shops, on a nationwide basis, set up around our military bases, figuring that those who were protecting our country would be ripe for the picking since they only get paid once a month and often times ran out of money before the next pay day.

    Our Congress did not think that it was right for the payday lenders to take advantage of members of the US military, so they set the maximum rate that the payday lenders could charge the military at 36%, which I am sure you are aware is the cap that Initiated measure 21 would place on payday loans. It is a shame that Congress didn’t think that the 36% cap should also be good for the rest of the country.

    While it is admirable that you have no problem paying it back in a short amount of time, not all folks do have that ability. And since you admit that you sign a paper for the loan, if you figure it out, I am sure that your APR is much higher than 18%, or 36% or even probably 100%, since the average payday loan in South Dakota is 550%.

    Ask yourself, if these loans can stand the test, why did the payday lenders have to hire people from out of state to circulate their petitions? Why didn’t they hire some of the folks to whom they had lent the money, to give them a chance to pay their loans back more quickly?

  18. Yusef, your personal story does nothing to establish the original claim you made, that my explanation of Lisa Furlong’s lie was emotional and not logical. You have refuted nothing that I said in the original post. Can you show how Lisa Furlong’s statement is not a lie? Can you show me how Amendment U does anything to end high-interest-rate loans?

    I withdraw my industry spammer comment. When people contradict truth and defend usury, it is often logical to conclude they are either misinformed or paid to run interference for the payday lenders.

  19. Lanny offers a splendid full response to Yusef’s effort to distract us from Lisa Furlong’s lie. Yusef acknowledges that payday lender customers sign contracts; Yusef thus acknowledges that Amendment S has no effect on those written contracts.

    As Lanny notes, not everyone takes out a payday loan and pays it back right away. As this blog has documented, the payday lenders are counting on many customers not paying it back right away and instead becoming trapped in a cycle of debt.

    It’s the same with drug dealers. They know that not every customer who buys meth or what-have-you will get addicted or come back to buy more. But they are counting on enough of their customers to get hooked to sustain their business model. We don’t legalize drugs just because a handful of lucky customers don’t get hooked or exploited. We restrict the sale of addictive drugs because overall, they do more social harm than good.

    We can say the same of other outlawed or strictly regulated industries. Not every child would get hooked on cigarettes or alcohol. Not every women working as a prostitute is trapped in an abusive “business” relationship with a sex trafficker. Not every gambler will develop an addiction. But we recognize the sickness, addiction, abuse, and other social harms that come from those industries, and we regulate them to prevent those harms.

  20. lanny, I am happy to report you do not know anything about suicide. eagle merit badge to you for curiosity, though.

  21. Lanny V Stricherz

    @leslie, hunh???