Protecting the Elderly from Predatory Lenders

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Velma*, a low-income and elderly woman, applied for legal services to deal with a payday lender.


Velma was approved for a loan despite having only Social Security income. After receiving the loan, she repaid the full amount borrowed, but she still owed a great deal of money in interest.

When confronted with the choice of paying for her medication or her payday loan, Velma chose her health. She paid an extra fee at the bank to stop the automatic withdrawal of the loan payment.

Velma’s bank allowed the payment to go through anyway, seriously overdrawing her account. Velma’s efforts to get the bank to honor the stop payment were unsuccessful. The bank even refused to refund the stop payment fee she had already paid.

At this point, Velma turned to Kansas Legal Services (KLS) for help. When a legal aid attorney intervened, the bank restored all of Velma’s funds. Negotiations with the payday lender allowed Velma enough money to meet her basic needs. Access to food and her medication has restored her health, and her outlook on life is much better.

*Names have been changed

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