#Sharkstoppers Update 2: Don't let nasty Trolls win the day - help us send nice messages to Lords asking them end loan sharking!  

Wonga has admitted a member of their staff was sending abusive messages to those campaigning to stop legal loan sharking. With less than a week to go to the crucial vote in the House of Lords on this issue I'm asking for your help to beat the twitter trolls. We want to send respectful messages to all the Lords asking them to support our campaign to cap the costs of credit.   
This short film by Channel 4 exposes the truth about this industry and the way in which it operates. Whilst the Government claims the Office of Fair Trading will take action next year, we know this is in fact the third time the same voluntary code has been announced and that it is not working. The time for self regulation of these companies is over- and waiting another year to act could leave millions more Britons saddled with these toxic debts. 
You can help us with making our case in two ways.
  • Reply to this email and we will send you contact details for 10 Lords to email before Wednesday 28 November (suggested text to use below)
  • Tweet them directly to ask for their help - you can find their contact details hereplease use the #sharkstoppers hashtag when you send your message.
Please remember whether you email or your tweet, be polite in your messages and ensure you ask them to vote for Amendment 114d to Clause 98 of the Financial Services Bill tabled by Lord Mitchell on Wednesday 28 November. If you get a positive response either on email or on twitter please do let us know! 
With only six days to go before this crucial vote it's clear the industry is worried about the impact of our campaign and resorting to any means necessary to try to stop us making our case for change- let us show these tactics will not succeed because our argument is based in details, not deception!

Stella Creasy
Labour and Co-operative MP for Walthamstow on behalf of #sharkstoppers 
p.s. Don't forget to keep watching out for further discussion in the media of the problems payday loans are causing millions of people in our country in the coming days as well as updates on #sharkstoppers and please share this email to a friend to encourage them to join our campaign. 
Text to use to write to members of the House of Lords 
 “Lord/Baroness XXXX,
House of Lords,
Dear Lord/ Baronness XXXX,

I’m writing to ask you to vote for the pay day loan amendment 114d tabled by Lord Mitchell to Clause 98 of the Financial Services Bill designed to help tackle legal loan sharking when it comes before you at the end of November 2012.
You may have been told that recent announcements by the Office of Fair Trading about action on payday loans will tackle the problems these companies cause- we don't agree. We know this is the third time the same code of conduct for these companies has been suggested, and that the OFT's own evidence shows they are clearly not adhering to these rules. Waiting until next year for our current regulatory regime to fail to protect British consumers could leave millions taking on a toxic debt. On Wednesday you can change this and send a clear message legal loan sharking will not be tolerated in modern Britain. 

Giving the new regulator explicit powers to cap the charges that these companies can set would send a strong message to this industry about the costs for loans that should be considered acceptable. British consumers deserve the same protection from these companies that others around the world enjoy. Research shows 60% of those using payday loans were using the money to pay for household bills and buying essentials like food, nappies and petrol. By restricting what firms can charge, we could make a real difference to millions of families across the country right now who are struggling financially and are borrowing from these companies just to make ends meet. Just recently it was revealed 1 in 10 payday loan customers are going without food in order to be able to pay back their debts- with 5 million Brits now turning to payday loans it is vital to act quickly to prevent a personal debt crisis in our country. 

A poll by ComRes for R3, the insolvency practitioners, shows overwhelming public support for action on this issue with 93% agreeing there is a problem with payday lending and 65% supporting a cap on the total cost of credit. Ministers claim they support the spirit of the amendment but refuse to back it – legal advisors are clear that without explicit powers to act, these companies will be able to challenge any regulatory action in the courts.

Please don’t let the fight against legal loan sharking become a fee generating opportunity for lawyers – please vote for this amendment and help end legal loan sharking in Britain.

Yours Sincerely,”

Stella Creasy: Labour and Co-operative MP for Walthamstow
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