Jun 27, 2014

140619_her07_42Art Sutherland

Age: 77
Hometown: Sandy
Cause: Fighting predatory lending practices

After retiring as an aerospace engineer, Sutherland wanted to give back to his community. It didn’t take him long to find out that payday lenders were preying on low-income residents in the Salt Lake area. Sutherland worked with local city governments in the county to pass ordinances curbing payday lending. Thanks to Sutherland’s efforts, nearly every city in Salt Lake County limits the number of payday lenders and regulates where they can operate. He is spurring change at the state level too: Regularly testifying on predatory lending issues before the Utah State Legislature, he was instrumental in getting a new bill passed that requires lenders to offer a payback plan during which no interest accumulates if the loan is longer than 10 weeks.

Says Sutherland:

Low-income neighborhoods are saturated by payday outlets with lending rates in the 400% range and only two weeks to pay it off. We can’t put them out of business, but we can rein them in.”

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