After USA Today did a news story on predatory lending that featured Tucson resident James Hollis, a dentist from Encino, California was so upset he decided to get involved. Hollis had taken out a pair of car title loans to pay for repairs to his car and he was struggling to make the payments on the extremely high interest loans.
Hollis lives on Social Security disability and food stamps and the $427 a month payments on the $3-thousand pair of loans was eating up all his income. Lorne Lavine, read Hollis’ story and reached out to him to help. At first Lavine only planned on paying off one of the loans, but when he learned that the loans had yearly interest rates of 155% and 202%, he offered to pay off both. "The people who need these loans the most are the most challenged to pay it back, and these rates are crazy,” Lavine explains. “How can people get their heads above water when they have 200% interest on loans?"
Levine says he helped Hollis out because he enjoys being generous and it sets a good example for his 16-year-old son. "I get pleasure and joy in helping others out," Lavine says. "I want [my son] to be a good person and be helpful and kind and respectful." Hollis received offers from at least five other strangers, but he kindly told them the debt had been paid. He says now that the loans are paid off, he’ll more easily be able to pay his other bills and have enough money to buy Christmas gifts for his family. And Hollis also says he’ll never make the mistake of taking out a car title loan again.