Price gouging in a time of crisis is depressingly normal, and it’s no different in California.
By the time a state budget is passed, Janet Rios will be at least $4,000 poorer. That’s the 19% in interest Rios says she must pay on loans to keep her two nursing homes afloat until lawmakers can agree on a spending plan.
Rios would seem to be a welcome client for any bank. The state pays her to take care of the elderly, and once the budget impasse is broken she’ll get a bundle of money that has been delayed. She just needed emergency funds in the meantime to pay the Stockton homes’ bills.
The state offered to guarantee the money in a letter she could take to her bank, Wells Fargo. But “they said that is not an acceptable thing to base a loan on,” she said, and classified her as a high risk, with an interest rate to match on two $100,000 lines of credit.
The state won’t reimburse her for the interest.
That sounds like ready-made legislation that would make a difference and a point, IMO. Good people who run nursing homes or childcare centers or health clinics are being taken to the cleaners by a bunch of opportunists, at a time when the credibility of the lending industry is at a low ebb. Indeed, the credit crunch that has roiled global financial markets is all the more reason not to penalize those forced into finding financing through no reasons of their own. And the Republicans in the Senate are enabling this theft.