Soldier robs two banks because he was $30,000 in debt to payday loan agencies. [Seattle Post-Intelligencer]


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  1. darkened says:

    Payday loans for service men aren’t predatory at all…

  2. sonichghog says:

    I always thought these were just like getting youir paycheck early. I guess I misunderstood what these loans were. Either that, or the armed forces have really gotten big raises recently.

  3. HRHKingFriday says:

    @sonichghog:A lot of times people in the military get their salaries on a monthly or bimonthly basis if they’re going to Iraw/wherever. A friend of mine did that a couple years ago, so I would assume you might be able to get 8 grand per loan. Plus they jack up what you owe, so he might have only taken out 15 grand in loans, but the interest is ridiculous.

  4. HRHKingFriday says:

    @HRHKingFriday: *Iraq

  5. Crymson_77 says:

    This is exactly why these predatory lending agencies should be shut down. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to find a correllation between these agencies and the number of foreclosures due to subprime that we have had in recent history.

  6. scatyb says:

    you could always tell when you hit my part of town…
    You’d be greeted by no less than 3 Cambio de Cheques on one intersection.

    That was a few years ago. Now, it doesn’t matter where you go.

  7. ncboxer says:

    Being a service member has nothing to do with it. Payday loans are crap for anybody. Not sure why someone in the military would need them- your housing is usually taken care off, you get a food allowance, and you get your pay. Maybe he was into gambling or something like that and needed to feed his habit.

  8. beavis88 says:

    On the one hand, I have very little sympathy for people who make commitments without taking time to understand (or getting someone to help them understand) the consequences.

    On the other hand, these lenders are by and large SHADY, and the bottom line is that you and I and the rest of the country have to deal with the fallout created by their business. Exhibit A: this jackass…

  9. Crymson_77 says:

    @beavis88: A finer point couldn’t be made :)

  10. SaveMeJeebus says:

    Payday loans and crappy car dealers market extensively to military bases with the “E-1 and up” offers. Unfortunately, some young military folks go nuts when they start receiving regular paychecks and overextend themselves. This, coupled with lack of supervisor involvement, sends them off to the payday lender. The lenders give them more than they would a civilian because they know that they don’t need a court order to garnish a servicemember’s pay if delinquent–only authorization from a commander. Everybody makes mistakes but not everybody recovers from them gracefully, i.e., robbing banks. What was this guy thinking?

  11. Oh No I Di'n't. says:


    I agree that anyone getting a payday loan gets shafted.

  12. vermontdevil says:

    Won’t be surprised to see more robberies by debt-ridden military members in the future.

    We don’t know why he’s in debt – there could be many factors.

    But bottom line is there is no need for these type of payday loans. Not with the way they charge interest, they way they tend to sprout up near military bases etc.

    Although I do not condone bank robbery and do support the 12 year sentence on the young sergeant. He committed a crime and must pay.

  13. timmus says:

    Well, on the bright side, the predators can’t get to you in prison. On the other hand I’d hate to think how much the interest & penalties would grow.

  14. HRHKingFriday says:

    Y’know, payday lending has been around for a loooong time in ghettos and lower-income minority neighborhoods. I think its funny that all of the sudden its gets noticed when they target white military people.

  15. Oh No I Di'n't. says:


    True that.

  16. rg says:

    Let the buyer, or borrower, beware! It’s time for the government to stop bailing out bad decision makers.

  17. Pylon83 says:

    No one forced the guy to take out the payday loans. They offer a service, he chose to utilize their service, got in over his head, and made a bad decision. I think payday loan services are needed in some areas, and some people are capable of utilizing them responsibly. The government should stay out of it.

  18. Crymson_77 says:

    @SaveMeJeebus: This is exactly why it should be illegal to market to military members. This problem could easily extend to issues with National Security because these companies, and the zombie debt collectors that they use to help them, could put these people in a position where they are willing to sell secrets to make money. That is EXACTLY the worst possible thing that can happen…

  19. Crymson_77 says:

    @Pylon83: That would be the case if the lowest average interest charged was lower than 90%. The even sadder fact is that some of these agencies charge more than 200% interest…

  20. marsneedsrabbits says:

    I have a friend whose husband is in the Navy, and she said that they have been warned against using this sort of loan service. Apparently, the military wants to know that your finances are on the up & up and if they are, they want you to keep them that way.
    I think they consider it somewhat of a security issue.

  21. Pylon83 says:

    You can’t really be serious can you? Make it illegal to market things to someone just because they are in the Military? I don’t care what it is, such a restriction on marketing products is ridiculous. It’s awfully far fetched to think they would sell national secrets. First off, the people at that low of a level don’t have access to “secrets”. Those who do have such access probably make enough money, and have enough responsibility to manage their finances.

  22. Pylon83 says:

    The rates they charge are the rates they charge. If the people using the service don’t like them, then should decline to accept the money.

  23. Crymson_77 says:

    @Pylon83: Really, even grunts have direct access to secrets. And they can be easily put in a position to have problems in this arena. You want to market to them? Fine, do so. But make it a requirement that their commanding officer sign off on it prior to the terms being legal.
    @Pylon83: I don’t disagree with you, unfortunately. There is only so much anyone can do to protect the stupid.

  24. cde says:

    @ncboxer: But once they are out of service, the room and board go away, and the checks still come once a month. The reason it matters to us is that we are directly paying for his salary via taxes, which means we are directly giving him money to give to the predatory lenders.

  25. cde says:

    @vermontdevil: I’d support a 4 year tour, base pay for living expenses and nothing else instead of 12 years of paying him (Or the state/feds to take care of him in prison) to do nothing.

    @Crymson_77: Or thinking about it, a payday lender would be an ultimate money laundering front (for terrorists none the less). What better way to launder money then to have the government do it for you.

    @Pylon83: Here’s a low level Nation Security Secret. The times and paths of patrol routes for whatever base the kid is stationed at.

  26. mattshu says:

    I hate payday loan sharks. I used to manage a branch way back when but left due to disagreement with the predatory nature of the business. In theory they work, but in reality, people don’t use them right.

    That being said, it sounds like a bunch of communists here. “Force. Force. Force.”

    As far as I can tell, this idiot made the choice to get a payday loan, Piggybacking on likely previously poor choices (even though he really needed that new mustang, xbox 360, and ps3). Then he made the choice to rob a bank. This could have just as easily been credit cards, a car payment, or a mortgage that set him off to rob a bank.

  27. Pylon83 says:

    Are you kidding me? How are payroll routes a “national security threat?” That’s along the same lines as saying that knowing the color of the Colonel’s uniform presents a threat.

  28. UpsetPanda says:

    One, loan sharks are scum and their “business” should be illegal. Second, one of the reasons why service members getting involved with payday loan companies is such a security problem is that if anyone catches wind that they have money issues, the service member is more susceptible to bribes, blackmail, other forms of extortion.

  29. Oh No I Di'n't. says:

    How does banning payday loans from lending to service members deal with the security threat? Payday loan or not, the person going to them still has some financial issue that leaves them more susceptible to bribes and what not.

  30. Pylon83 says:

    @OH NO I DI’N’T
    Good point. If you ban the legitimate pay day loan services, they are going to seek out real loan sharks that result to leg breaking, and real extortion to collect. Which one is less dangerous to the “customer” and National Security?

  31. KJones says:

    And when he gets out of prison, the usury loan will still be there, probably ratcheted up to $750,000 by that point.

  32. Blueskylaw says:

    He should have asked his friends from BlackWater to help him “take care of” his problem.