The payday lending industry in Texas has managed to wrap its tentacles around just about every level of government there is, repeatedly killing any move toward meaningful regulation on the part of the state legislature, skirting rules set up by municipalities, Dallas included, aimed at curbing its w ... More >>
If you want an idea of the near stranglehold payday lenders have on the Texas Legislature, the Senate floor was the place to be today. That's where Senator John Carona watched as his payday lending bill was picked apart by colleagues, many of whom were taking calls from industry lobbyists as he spok ... More >>
There remains a pressing need for meaningful, statewide regulation of payday lending in Texas, since the industry has shown a willingness and ability to skirt restrictions passed by Dallas, Austin, and other cities. Those reforms look like they are still at least a couple of years off. Despite high ... More >>
Maybe Dallas has a shot at stepping out from under the redneck yoke of Austin after all. In today's news we see that a Dallas judge, Eric Moye, has tossed out a lawsuit by the usury industry in which payday lenders claimed the city had no right to protect its citizens if Austin didn't want them pro ... More >>
When the Texas Legislature passed new rules governing the payday and auto-title lending industry in 2011, lawmakers accidentally (or not) left gaping holes large enough to drive large, cash-laden trucks through. It was little surprise, then, that that's exactly what's been happening. The Texas Obse ... More >>
A few weeks ago, the Texas Observer's Forrest Wilder went on a journalistic mission to a Cash Store outlet near his home in Austin. His aim, as he describes it, was to see what it was like to take out a payday loan in Texas, particularly in the wake of stronger regulations that Austin recently put i ... More >>
If you watch a Rangers game on TV for more than about five minutes, you're bound to encounter manager Ron Washington telling you wonderful things about Ace Cash Express. If you can ignore the glare from Washington's shiny pate -- he often appears sans baseball cap, even though he is a man who benefi ... More >>
ATI Career Training Center is the type of school you see advertised on daytime TV. It prepares its graduates for "rewarding careers" in "fields such as health care, personal fitness and wellness, business technology, information technology, automotive repair, air conditioning and refrigeration repai ... More >>
A new report submitted to the Texas Legislature says that Texans who earn their bachelor's degrees in the humanities have higher levels of debt and lower earning potential than people who get degrees in math and science-related fields. In 2010, the majors with the highest rates of unemployment were ... More >>
America's for-profit colleges offer education only a con man (or a congressman) could love.
Barbarians in the Ivory Tower
View Larger Map Harry Engel loved his home right up to the day it killed him. The retired minister had grown up as an orphan, so he took particular pride in the modest Grand Prairie house he had shared with wife Wanda for 22 years. In February 2010, the couple received a letter from JP Morgan Chas ... More >>
In addition to sports team ownership and a sideline in media impresario-ness, Mark Cuban is quite the blogger: dishing out advice to the Occupy movement, fulminating about patent law, apologizing for some casual homophobia. And a few days ago, he aired his views on the small matter of student loan d ... More >>
Earlier today Rudy posted an explainer to the City Hall blog about those so-called "conduit bonds" Uplift Education hopes to sell with City Hall's backing. But long story short, per a Los Angeles Times piece last year, they "allow private entities to tap into low-cost municipal bond financing for ... More >>
You know the cell phones must have been burning all weekend when the first city council committee briefing of the week at City Hall on Monday morning starts off with a rebuttal. Wait, rebuttal already? While those of us out here in the peanut gallery are still wiping the weekend from our eyes, co ... More >>
Speaking of Uplift Education and its planned expansion into Deep Ellum ...There's an intriguing item that just appeared on the Dallas City Council's consent addendum for next week's meeting, posted here. According to the doc, the city wants to create a nonprofit called the City of Dallas Educatio ... More >>
Last week was a bit embarrassing for Craig Watkins as his personal debt to Citibank became a public matter when The Dallas Morning News reported that he owed more than $15,000 in credit card bills, the latest in a history of financial whoopsies. The district attorney explained to Unfair Park that he ... More >>
Via.A disheartening report by the Dallas Police Department shows that crimes against senior citizens have increased in the past year, with rates for July 2011 15 percent higher than during the same time last year. Lieutenant Herbert Ashford presented the numbers at this morning's Senior Affai ... More >>
If nothing else, the timing's certainly good: Just three days after Mayor Dwaine Caraway branded mayoral candidate Mike Rawlings the "Payday Loan King" in a series of ads to which Rawlings later responded, the city council's Budget, Finance & Audit Committee is about to take up the subject of ... More >>
Photo by Sam MertenCaraway and Natinsky at the candidate's endorsement press conference last monthMoments ago, during Robert Ashley's show on KHVN-AM, an ad ran attacking mayoral candidate Mike Rawlings and his ties to Ace Cash Express -- though it never mentions Rawlings by name. The speaker: no ... More >>
Photo by Mark GrahamMike RawlingsMike Rawlings called this evening to discuss, sort of, those ads in which Mayor Dwaine Caraway blasts the mayoral candidate as the "Payday Loan King," a reference to Rawlings's six-year stint on the board of directors of Ace Cash Express -- the very sort of high-i ... More >>
Been trying to reach council member Jerry Allen ever since yesterday; no luck so far. But we know where he'll be at 3 today: in the Flag Room at Dallas City Hall, standing beside Dr. Frederick Haynes and Rev. Gerald Britt at an anti-payday lender press conference on behalf of the Anti-Poverty Coa ... More >>
Late Wednesday, we received in the in-box this list of 25 cities ranked by the average amount of credit-card debt its residents carryin their back pockets. At the top of the pops was San Antonio with $5,177, but, as you can see, Dallas wasn't far behind at No. 5; says credit-reporting agency Expe ... More >>
On the other side is a lengthy missive we just received from the Dallas County District Attorney's Office in which Craig Watkins outlines his to-do list for the new Legislative session. But you can probably guess what's top-of-the-pops with a D.A. seeking criminal system reforms: eyewitness ident ... More >>
DeSoto resident Pamela Bradley, who once worked for the city of Dallas, feels cheated by the education system. She was raised to believe that education leads to better jobs, so she got a master's degree and started a Ph.D. program. But now Bradley finds herself in this disheartening position ... More >>
If you haven't carefully checked the fine print in the city's proposed high-crime apartment ordinance, which the Dallas City Council will take up today, you might have missed this little gem: Apartment owners whose properties become too crime-ridden according to the city's calculations will be requi ... More >>
In early November, KTVT-Channel 11 busted 14 Dallas Fannie Mae employees for teeing off at the Cowboys Golf Club in Grapevine -- 22 days after the feds took over Fannie Mae, whoops. Said the CBS affiliate, taxpayers coughed up $6,279.26 for the golf outing, which "outraged" Rep. Jeb Hensarling. So m ... More >>
Hard-sell coin dealers make chump change
Thinking about taking out a payday loan? Think again, sucker.
Troubling questions about real estate transactions dog a former Cowboy's business
Even in the great beyond, no one is safe from identity theft
Ferré Ristorante & Bar
Thieves stole Ronnie Wilson's name, and now she's having an identity crisis
Silence is not golden; Feed the sharks
A school's closing leaves a Dallas woman $10,000 in debt for a worthless education
Former school trustee Roberto Medrano is sued for child support
Dick Armey will eat his lunch.
He's a nice guy. He drives a pickup truck. But Victor Morales doesn't belong in the U.S. Senate.
Thousands of people in Dallas need a cheap place to live. So why is the city destroying homes that could be saved?
Oak Cliff buys into rent-to-own antiques
Oak Cliff shop offers a new take on an antique idea