Emory Law Journal


The United States currently has two banking systems-one for the rich, one for the poor. It was not always this way. In the past, the U.S. government has enlisted certain banking institutions to serve the needs of the poor and offer low-cost credit to enable low-income Americans to escape poverty. Credit unions, savings and loans, and Morris Banks are three prominent examples of government-supported institutions with a specific focus of helping the low-income. Unfortunately, these institutions are no longer fulfilling their missions, and high-cost, usurious, and sometimes predatory check cashers and payday lenders have quickly filled the void. These fringe banks do not provide the poor with useful credit and further bury them in debt.