Assemblyman Troy Singleton (D-Burlington) on Wednesday hailed the State Investment Council's decision to divest public employee pension funds from a company that has been fined millions of dollars by the feds for its dubious debt collection practices as a just win for hardworking families.
"This is an important move on New Jersey's part, one that represents a victory for hardworking families everywhere," said Singleton. "This announcement is all the more symbolic coming on a day when the Assembly is focusing hearings on eradicating poverty and growing the middle class. These are the very people that payday lenders typically prey upon. I'm glad the State Investment Council took this issue seriously and made the right decision."
In July, Singleton sent a letter sent to State Investment Council Chairman Tom Byrne listing his concerns over the state's investment in the private equity firm, JLL Partners, which used New Jersey's pension funds to help finance the 2006 purchase of ACE Cash Express, Inc., the nation's second largest payday lender.
In his letter to the State Investment Council, Singleton noted that ACE Cash Express was banned from doing business in New Jersey, which created a concerning conflict since New Jersey's pension system is an indirect owner of the company.
He further underscored the fact that ACE was fined $10 million last year by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for pushing payday borrowers into a cycle of debt through illegal tactics that included harassment and false threats of lawsuits or criminal prosecution.