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Payday lending can help

I want to take this opportun-ity to address Jerilyn DeCoteau's Perspective, ''The new money changers'' [Vol. 27, Iss. 47].

Critics of the industry assign labels to payday lending customers in an attempt to further their political agenda. The fact is that we provide services to a broad cross-section of Americans because there is widespread demand for the financial service we provide. Our customers represent a large demographic segment and cannot be grouped based on race, sex or religion. Payday lenders are located in population centers - convenient locations where customers live, work and shop.

The Center for Responsible Lending, a front group that rails against payday lending, is among those set to benefit greatly if payday lending is restricted or banned. CRL is the creation of the Self-Help Credit Union. Reports from CRL purposely deceive consumers and policymakers by using ''evidence'' that simply does not exist. CRL takes data points from various sources, applies its own convoluted math and passes it off as information confirmed by state regulators and third parties.

According to Veritec Solutions LLC, a regulatory services company, CRL misinterprets data to come to flawed conclusions. Veritec is concerned that certain conclusions derived in the CRL report are a misinterpretation of statistical information and that the conclusions inaccurately reflect the effectiveness of state regulatory programs in Florida, Oklahoma and other states.

The readers of your newspaper deserve to have the facts about payday loans presented to them, not just rhetoric. The facts are that payday loans serve an important need for working Americans who face unexpected and unbudgeted expenses.

- Tommy Moore

Executive vice presidentCommunity Financial Services AssociationAlexandria, Va.