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Oregon cancer survivor’s payday loan balloons from $300 to $40,000 — after filing for bankruptcy

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In 2013, Stephanie Banks was in the midst of a battle with lung cancer, and like many who are stricken with serious illness, she also had a cash shortfall. So, according to the Oregonian, Banks turned to Rapid Cash, a payday lender, for a $300 loan.

The Portland woman signed off on the loan that had an interest rate of 153 percent — the highest allowed under Oregon law.

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But Banks filed for bankruptcy after her cancer left her too weak to work. She thought nothing of it — until she got a letter in the mail claiming she now owes $40,000 on that $300 loan.

Now that her cancer is in remission, Banks says the letter gave her a huge shock.

“I said, ‘These people are trying to give me a heart attack. … I don’t have $40,000,'” she told the Oregonian.

Even a consumer attorney, who has taken on Banks’ case pro bono, can’t figure out how her loan ballooned the way it did. The attorney, Michael Fuller, said Banks shouldn’t owe anything.

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“The number has to be zero because she’s in bankruptcy,” he told the paper.

According to the Oregonian, Banks can’t take her complaint before the courts, because her agreement forces her to instead go before a private arbiter chosen by Rapid Cash.

Consumer advocate Amanda Werner told the Oregonian that such arbiters don’t have to have legal training and are bound by law. And in Banks’ case, she could be stuck paying the cost of representation hired by Rapid Cash to handle her case.

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Banks, who lives off of a $1,240 social security check, said there’s just no way she can pay.

“This will have to be sorted out, there’s no way I can pay $40,000,” Banks told the paper. “If I could pay them $40,000, I wouldn’t have filed bankruptcy.”


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Millions around the world joined #ClimateStrike — demanding bold climate action

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Masses of children skipped school Friday to join a global strike against climate change that teen activist Greta Thunberg said was "only the beginning" in the fight against environmental disaster.

Some four million people filled city streets around the world, organizers said, in what was billed as the biggest ever protest against the threat posed to the planet by rising temperatures.

Youngsters and adults alike chanted slogans and waved placards in demonstrations that started in Asia and the Pacific, spread across Africa, Europe and Latin America, before culminating in the United States where Thunberg rallied.

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Trump announces new sanctions on Iran — and deploys US troops to the Middle East

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The United States announced Friday that it was sending military reinforcements to the Gulf region following attacks on Saudi oil facilities that it attributes to Iran, just hours after President Donald Trump ordered new sanctions on Tehran.

Trump said the sanctions were the toughest-ever against another country, but indicated he did not plan a military strike, calling restraint a sign of strength.

The Treasury Department renewed action against Iran's central bank after US officials said Tehran carried out weekend attacks on rival Saudi Arabia's oil infrastructure, which triggered a spike in global crude prices.

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‘Do a lot of stupid sh*t as quickly as possible’: Ambassador Power breaks down ’The Trump Doctrine’

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The former ambassador to the United Nations explained "The Trump Doctrine" during a Friday evening interview with comedian Bill Maher on HBO's "Real Time."

Samantha Power, the author of the new book, The Education of an Idealist, was asked by Maher about the foreign policy mantra of the Obama administration.

"Obama's foreign policy doctrine was famously summarized as 'don't do stupid sh*t," Maher noted. "Trump's, of course, is 'Do stupid sh*t.'"

"Do stupid sh*t as quickly as possible," Power clarified.

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