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Christians Fail to Stop Credit Card Usury

Contact: Bishop Paul Peter Jesep, 518-496-2096

MEDIA ADVISORY, Nov. 11 /Christian Newswire/ -- "Credit Card Usury and the Christian Failure to Stop It -- A Call to Social Justice against the Money Changers (Second Edition)," by Bishop Paul Peter Jesep challenges Christian leaders to use their pulpits to speak against credit bureaus, collection agencies, and credit card companies who oppress the working poor and struggling middle class.

Christian leaders have long advocated for social justice, but in the last thirty years have overlooked or been complacent toward the serious injustices caused by this sector of the economy.

Highlights from the book include:

  • In July 2010, 43.4 million Americans had credit scores below 599 jeopardizing jobs, housing, and student loan eligibility;
  • Banks have business models to encourage customers to max out credit cards;
  • Up to 16 million Americans suffer from debt related stress sometimes leading to suicide;
  • Approximately half of all collection agencies in the Buffalo, NY area received a failing grade from the Better Business Bureau due to unscrupulous tactics;
  • In a 2009 law suit filed by the New York Attorney General, 101,000 court orders were alleged to have been wrongly issued to collect $5,474 per consumer;
  • Consumers are being arrested for default judgments in Wisconsin, New Jersey, Arkansas, and Washington; and
  • In 2009, 66% of the 241,195 consumer debt cases that resulted in default judgments in New York City often occurred after improper service of process;
  • Cap and reduce credit card rates to cut consumer debt by up to 50%;
  • Fair profit, not unjust gain from high interest rates, will spur economic recovery by putting money directly into the economy;
  • In 2009, over $20 billion in penalty fees on credit cards were assessed;
  • Personal responsibility to pay back debt should be discussed in the context of corporate responsibility and unjust gain in imposing interest rates that can exceed 70%.

Bishop Jesep extensively documents his case against the financial services industry and applies Christian ethics and theology to argue why followers of Jesus have a moral responsibility to stop one of the most overlooked social injustices of modern times.

He challenges Christians with the questions: "What would Jesus do about credit cards, credit bureaus, and collection agencies that cause extraordinary spiritual, emotional, and physical pain? What will you do as a follower of Christ?"

The book is available at Amazon.com for $16.00 

About the Author:
Bishop Paul Peter Jesep, by appointment of His Beatitude Metropolitan Myfodii of Kyiv and All Ukraine, is Director of Public Affairs for the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church Kyiv-Patriarchate in the United States. He earned a B.A. in political science from Union College in New York, a J.D. from Western New England College School of Law in Massachusetts, a Master's degree in Professional Management from the Graduate School of Political Management now based at The George Washington University, and a Master's degree from Bangor Theological Seminary in Maine. Bishop Jesep is a practicing attorney in New York and author of "Crucifying Jesus and Secularizing America - the Republic of Faith without Wisdom."