The New CFPB Rule is a Testament to the Power of Community Organizing

Seniors were the largest age group of payday loan borrowers in California last year but a new CFPB rule will better protect borrowers.

Dear CRC Supporter:

Yesterday, the CFPB released a new rule that will protect working families from predatory loans and the financial heartaches they create.

This rule is a victory and is a testament to the power of community organizing by CRC, our members and our allies. Borrowers will benefit from new safeguards requiring lenders to better assess their ability to repay a loan and from restrictions preventing lenders from making multiple, unsuccessful attempts to debit their bank accounts, a practice that results in costly overdrafts and closed bank accounts.

As the CFPB began its work to write this rule, CRC members and their clients courageously stepped up to share their experiences. Working with our partners, we organized listening sessions with the CFPB and with our Congressional representatives where Californians talked about how they got caught in the payday loan debt trap- a cycle of costly rollovers that are profitable for the industry, but that extract precious income and assets away from working families.

California Consumer Leadership Academy

In 2015, CRC partnered with CRL-California and California LULAC to organize the first ever California Consumer Leadership Academy.  Eight courageous women participated in this day-long training, shared their experiences, and crafted strategies on how to stop predatory lending practices in our communities.

At the CFPB’s field hearing where it announced its draft proposal of the rule, I shared the story of a Santa Cruz borrower who had worked with a CRC member after getting a payday loan and then being illegally harassed for repayment of it. We applauded the CFPB’s initial proposal, while also highlighting where we thought the safeguards could be stronger.

Once the public comment period opened, we activated consumers, CRC members and allies, and engaged with local, state, and federal elected officials to ensure the rules were as strong as possible. Consumers shared their stories in the media and we helped them to file CFPB complaints. Local mayors voiced their support. As a result of CRC and our member’s organizing efforts, the LA County Board of Supervisors passed a unanimous motion in support of strong rules. California state legislators, as well as our two senators and more than half of our congressional delegation (led by Representative Maxine Waters) weighed in with their support.

Over 100 California nonprofits also weighed in with the CFPB and our message was loud and clear: California families need a strong CFPB rule that protects their income and assets from predatory lenders.

We applaud the CFPB for its thoughtful approach to this rule and we want to extend our gratitude to our members and allies who worked tirelessly to organize and to protect our communities from predatory lending. We’re also grateful to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation for their support of this work.

We anticipate the industry will attempt to get this rule overturned- either through the courts or the Congressional Review Act, but rest assured we will continue our advocacy in support of this rule and the other work the CFPB is doing to stand up for Main Street.

My statement on the rules is now available on CRC’s website and you can read a CFPB fact sheet about the rules here.

Thank you for your support.

Paulina Gonzalez

Executive Director

Share Your California Payday Loan and Car Title Loan Stories

Editor’s note: The CFPB, a federal agency, has proposed new rules for payday, car title, and high-cost installment lenders.

BUT, they need to hear from consumers- that means you! We have an easy-to-use page where you can weigh in- it only takes a minute and will help bring about important consumer protections with these loans. Please share a line or two in the comments box about why you care about this issue and want to see strong federal reforms.

PS: You do NOT have to be a payday, car title, or installment borrower to sign the petition.

 

Have you ever used a payday, car title, or other high-cost consumer loan?

Have you heard the news?

A federal agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, is designing new rules to better regulate companies who make car title, payday loan, and other high-cost consumer loans.

CRC’s executive director, Paulina Gonzalez, testified at the CFPB hearing where the proposed rules were announced.

This hearing was only the first step, and the industry is already fighting back against common-sense protections.

If you have used one of these loans in the past, consider sharing your story with CRC as we advocate for common-sense consumer protections in the new rules.

Take a look and share your story:  Share Your Story to Ensure Strong Consumer Protections.

8 Important Points from the CFPB Field Hearing on Payday Lending in Richmond Virginia

Editor’s note: The CFPB, a federal agency, has proposed new rules for payday, car title, and high-cost installment lenders.

 

BUT, they need to hear from consumers- that means you! We have an easy-to-use page where you can weigh in- it only takes a minute and will help bring about important consumer protections with these loans. Please share a line or two in the comments box about why you care about this issue and want to see strong federal reforms.

PS: You do NOT have to be a payday, car title, or installment borrower to sign the petition.

Did you miss the CFPB hearing on payday and other high cost loans?  Not to worry, advocates and consumers from around the country testified at the hearing about their experiences with payday and car title loans and we’ve got the highlights below!

1) Ending predatory lending is a top priority of the CFPB and of President Obama: President Obama signaled the importance of putting an end to predatory lending in a speech he gave Thursday in Birmingham, saying, “As Americans, we don’t mind folks making a profit,” Obama said. “But if you’re making that profit by trapping hardworking Americans in a vicious cycle of debt, then you need to find a new business model. You need to find a new way of doing business.”

Watch President Obama’s speech here (payday lending starts at about 15 minutes in):

 

2) When consumers share their stories about payday and car title loans, it isn’t pretty:

ELLIOTT CALLOUT EMAILIt started with a broken ankle and a $500 payday loan. It ended in a three-year ordeal that cost Elliott – a Marine Corps veteran – his wife, and five daughters more than $30,000 and their house…read more here from the PICO National Network.

From a Guardian article about hearing: “I would tell anyone at this point: don’t do it. Do not do it. If I had known what I know now about payday loans, I never would have looked their way,” he said.   The Guardian: Payday loan borrowers: ‘When are we going to be done paying these people?’

Consumers also shared their experiences during the public comment period- below are retweets about the stories:Car Title borrower

payday borrower

New Economics For Women shared a consumer story that illustrates how the debt cycle works:

When Lorena (Alias), of Los Angeles, CA, found herself in a tight financial spot, she turned to payday lending….She visited a Speedy Cash location in Los Angeles, CA and borrowed $255, paying $45 in fees and hoping to be able to pay it back in two weeks time….Unfortunately, that was not enough time for her to stabilize her finances, and she had to repeat the loan. She has now repeated the loan 7 times, paying $315 in fees alone….Not only has she had to pay the added $315, she has also acquired overdraft fees. On five occasions, Speedy Cash has taken the money out of her bank account while she was still waiting on disability checks to come in, adding $175 to her expenses, due to payday lending….Hoping to catch up on some of her expenses and be able to get rid of the initial payday debt, she took out a second loan at Speedy Cash for $2,600. However, that loan did not help her at all and has instead dragged her deeper into the cycle of debt. In addition to the repeat loans every two weeks, Lorena now has to pay $38 every two weeks to repay the $2,600 loan. She has fallen behind on her bills and rent and has reached out to family and friends for help. Currently she owes Speedy Cash $2,755 and can only see that amount growing as time goes by.

3. Besides personal stories, research on payday and car title loans has found the products are toxic for the majority of people who use them- pushing them deeper into a cycle of debt.

From a new Pew research report on car title loans:

  • Between 6 and 11 percent of title loan borrowers have a car repossessed annually.
  • To repay a title loan, 47 percent report using a cash infusion, such as a tax refund.
  • 66% of car title borrowers believe the industry should be more regulated.

4. Advocates and practitioners advocate based on the stories and experiences of the people they work with:

Adam Rust, Research Director at Reinvestment Partners, spoke about his organization’s work in housing counseling and providing free tax preparation services.  He agreed that they see people facing difficult financial situations, but explained that paydayloans won’t right the ship- instead they’ll only cause people more hardship.

Paulina Gonzalez, executive director of the California Reinvestment Coalition explained in her testimony that “in many of our communities, we need more income, not just credit.”

5. People across the country are concerned about high cost lenders trying to use loopholes to escape regulations- or using cash to wield influence:

NC AFL CIO

lobbyists

6. While the industry tried to play the “we create jobs card” it turns out that’s not true either:

According to a report from the Insight Center for Community Economic Development, the payday loan industry was responsible for a net loss of over 14,000 jobs in 2011, and a net economic loss of over $750 million.  Bankruptcies that are triggered by payday loans were responsible for another $169 million net economic loss.

7. States like North Carolina and New York that got rid of payday lenders don’t want them back.  

Carlene McNulty, an attorney from the North Carolina Justice Center, commented that North Caorlina had kicked payday lenders out ten years earlier- and the state doesn’t want them back.

NY payday loans8. Communities notice where payday loan companies locate their stores- and where they don’t:

Where do payday lenders locate

 

Want to learn more about payday and car title loans?  We have a few resources:

1.Over 70 editorials have been written about payday lending- Has your local newspaper written one yet? Take a look: Editorials against payday lending  

2. Ever wonder why people are concerned about payday loans and some of the companies that make them?  Is it the high interest rates? The debt traps they create for their customers?  Their shady collection tactics?  The amount of money they spend lobbying state legislators in order to protect their profits instead of their customers? Maybe it’s the extra fees they don’t disclose? All of the above?  Check out the Payday Lender Hall of Shame.

3. It’s not just payday loans that can be dangerous to your health- it’s also high cost car title loans and high cost installment loans too: Careful! Alternatives to Payday Loans Can Also Be Predatory

4. Thinking about an online payday loan?  Here’s 8 strong reasons not to! (hint: if you don’t like having your identity stolen, steer clear!)  8 Reasons Not to Get an Online Payday Loan

 

The 10 Most Popular Stories in Consumer Finance in 2014 on CRC’s blog

What were the most popular posts on the CRC blog in 2014?

1) Most popular: City of Los Angeles Lawsuit Against Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, and Bank of America

The City of Los Angeles filed a lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase for targeting minorities for predatory mortgages and the subsequent economic damage when these loans went into default.  The City Attorney, Mike Feuer, has already sued Wells Fargo, Citigroup Inc, and Bank of America for the same issues.  See this Law 360 article on a new lawsuit filed in December 2014:  LA Sues JPMorgan, BofA, Citi Over Discriminatory Lending

2. New Resource for Widowed Homeowners Facing Foreclosure

The “widows and orphans” problem refers to the fact that many widows, orphans, and others who inherit or have an ownership interest in property have faced foreclosure upon the death of a loved one because they were not listed on the loan, and the servicer would not work with them so that they could keep the family home.  See the recent announcement from the CFPB that they will providing additional updates to these rules here: CFPB Proposes Expanded Foreclosure Protections

3. Editorials Against Payday Lenders

How do over 50 newspapers feel about the payday lending industry?  Take a look and learn why advocates are excited about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s upcoming rule-making for an industry who had a number of scandals in 2014.

4. The Payday Lender Hall of Shame

This is the worst of the worst when it comes to payday loan stories- here’s just a small sample, be sure to read the full post, and while you’re at it, sign our petition to CFPB Director Richard Cordray.

  • 1,000 text messages sent to a man after his suicide from debt collectors?
  • $83 million in campaign contributions made by the payday loan industry to prevent strong consumer protections from being enacted into laws
  • Training manuals that tell payday loan staff how to keep customers caught in the debt cycle

5. Banc of California Acquisition of 20 Banco Popular Branches Opposed 

After CRC members and allies opposed this acquisition, Banc of California agreed to create a public, 5 year community benefit and reinvestment plan.

6. Community members gather in Oakland to Celebrate California Reinvestment!

While CRC members and allies are serious about economic justice, they also know how to have fun.

7. Community leaders protest sale of 20 local Banco Popular Branches in Los Angeles

CRC members and allies held a press conference in front of a Banco Popular branch in LA as part of our initial opposition to Banc of California purchasing 20 Banco Popular branches.

8. John Oliver and Sarah Silverman on Payday Loans  

This post is self-explanatory, but if you watch the video, know that this industry is so bad there’s some adult language used by Mr. Oliver and Ms. Silverman.

Our favorite line? 

After a payday lender says “If you can’t pay the loan, don’t worry, we’ll be there to work with you.”

Oliver responds “No S*** you’ll be there, your business model depends on it!

(He’s referring of course to the debt trap that is sprung for the majority of people who take out a payday loan and find themselves unable to repay it two weeks later).

9. Bank Payday Loans No Longer Offered By Wells Fargo or US Bank

CRC was particularly happy to see this announcement after our opposition to banks providing these “direct deposit advance” loans that were very similar to payday loans.  Of course, we’d still like to see the banks get completely out of the business of payday lending, and stop providing financing to these modern day loan sharks.  For more on the financing that main street banks provide to payday lenders, see the report “Connecting the Dots” from our ally, Reinvestment Partners, based in North Carolina.

10. 80 Organizations Call on Federal Government to Address Private Equity and Investor Landlords

Have you heard about Wall Street’s latest profit scheme?  After millions of homeowners lost their homes to foreclosure, private equity is now moving into the housing market, buying roughly $200 billion worth of single-family homes, with the intent of securitizing the rental income…sounds familiar, doesn’t it?  Just look out if you’re a first-time homebuyer (hard to compete with all cash offers), a tenant (you might get booted to make way for higher paying renters), or a community, whose makeup could be changed thanks to the new landlords.

And, our three honorable mentions (we should point out that the OneWest post is only a few weeks old, so it was at a distinct disadvantage!)

A.  Community Leaders Hold Press Conference at OneWest Bank Headquarters 

In December, CRC received a response to our FOIA request to the FDIC, asking how much money the FDIC has paid out and expects to pay out in the future, under controversial shared loss agreements with the bank.  We released the figures (OneWest is on track to receive a whopping $2.4 billion by 2019!) at a press conference with our members and allies in front of the bank’s headquarters, where we called on the Federal Reserve to hold public hearings about this proposed, Too Big To Fail bank merger.  CRC also called on the bank to implement a foreclosure moratorium for surviving spouses whose mortgage is serviced by a OneWest subsidiary, Freedom Financial.  Read Kevin Stein’s HousingWire post to learn about three elderly homeowners who were facing foreclosure by OneWest Bank, and why we’re urging the bank to implement a moratorium until HUD develops rules to address situations where surviving family members are facing foreclosure due to a reverse mortgage.

B. Why we need Operation Choke Point to stop Illegal Online Payday Lenders

Payday lenders need access to your checking account in order to process the loans.  Learn more about Four Oaks Bank, and how 14 consumers were harmed by the bank playing an enabling role in processing illegal predatory loans.

C. Tenants Rights After a Foreclosure Upheld by California Court of Appeal

The story of a bank becoming the owner of a home after a foreclosure trustee sale is common in California.  Unfortunately, so is the experience of these two tenants who had continued paying their rent and should not have been evicted.  After a trustee sale, some real estate agents will try and get the current tenants out of the property as quickly as possible, offering cash for keys, making illegal threats, or even calling the police.  Tenants may or may not know their rights, and the real estate agents may take advantage of this and try and force them out quickly.

Seven Important Updates on Payday Lending in California and Nationally

Editor’s note: The CFPB, a federal agency, has proposed new rules for payday, car title, and high-cost installment lenders.

BUT, they need to hear from consumers- that means you! We have an easy-to-use page where you can weigh in- it only takes a minute and will help bring about important consumer protections with these loans. Please share a line or two in the comments box about why you care about this issue and want to see strong federal reforms.

PS: You do NOT have to be a payday, car title, or installment borrower to sign the petition.

This has been a busy summer for the payday loan industry!  We’re including seven important updates below.  While you’re here, consider signing our petition, calling on the CFPB to include STRONG consumer safeguards as it designs new rules for payday loans:  Petition to CFPB Director Richard Cordray

ACE Cash Express

How Ace Cash Express  staff were trained to encourage customers to continue renewing their payday loans. (From Ace Cash Express training manual)

1) On July 10, the CFPB announced a settlement with Ace Cash Express which has 1,600 locations nationwide and 200 in California. As part of the settlement for illegal debt collection tactics, the payday lender will pay $5 million to the CFPB, and will return $5 million to customers. One of the “smoking guns” from the settlement is a graphic from a 2011 training manual for the company. The picture spelled out how Ace Cash Express employees should encourage customers to renew their payday loans if they couldn’t afford to pay them back.(See graphic here). In other words, advocate concerns about the “payday loan debt trap” keeping people in a constant cycle of taking out new loans and paying high fees are well-founded.

Local momentum continues to build, with California cities moving policies to protect communities from the saturation of payday lenders.

2) In Fresno, the city council unanimously voted for a new ordinance that requires a new permit application and a “buffer zone” of at least a quarter mile between locations and limits areas where new stores can open.

3) Daly City adopted similar location restrictions.

4) In Victorville, the town council passed a 45 day moratorium on approving permits for money service businesses, including payday lenders, check cashers, and car title lenders.

5) Local leaders are also working on payday lending restrictions in San Mateo and Menlo Park.

6) At the federal level, House Republicans have recently attacked “Operation Choke Point” which is the DOJ’s initiative to prevent banks from enabling illegal online payday lending, among other things. Four Oaks Bank, the first settlement under Operation Choke Point, allegedly facilitated $2.4 billion in illegal transactions, and later settled with the DOJ.

7) The Protecting Consumers from Unreasonable Credit Rates Act was recently introduced in the House. The bill would extend existing protections for servicemembers, and caps interest rates at 36% for all consumers at 36% for products including payday and car title loans. The Senate version of this bill is co-sponsored by Senator Barbara Boxer.

Most promising is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s upcoming rule-making process, which has the potential to instill significant industry reforms to end the payday loan debt trap for consumers. While the CFPB cannot impose an interest rate cap, CRC and our allies are calling for the Bureau to issue the strongest proposal feasible, including a limit on the payday loan cycle, a determination of the borrower’s ability to repay the loan and a prohibition of the lender’s direct access to consumers’ bank accounts.

This is a critical moment, now is the time to push for a strong rule as it is  developed over the next several months.

Please join CRC, advocates and consumers from across the country in sending a message to the CFPB urging them to craft a strong rule to end the debt trap. Sign our petition to Director Richard Cordray and make sure the new rules end abusive practices!

Sign petition here and please share with your networks: Payday Loan Petition to Richard Cordray

Thank you for your support!

Liana Molina

Payday Campaign Organizer

California Reinvestment Coalition

Screening of Fleeced Documentary about Elder Abuse in Sacramento April 15th

Fleeced1

As part of the Housing California conference, several organizations are sponsoring a screening of Fleeced: Speaking Out Against Senior Financial Abuse that will also include a panel discussion and audience Q&A.

The event will be held on Tuesday, April 15th, from 5:30 to 7:00pm at the Sacramento Convention Center, in Room 304. Space is limited. To RSVP, please contact Maya Abood: maya@calruralhousing.org, (916) 443-4448

Building Awareness of Elder Financial Fraud and Abuse
Older adults are the fastest growing population in the U.S., and one of five older Americans is the victim of financial fraud and abuse The economic cost of older-adult financial fraud and abuse is estimated at $2.9 billion annually, but those are only the cases that are reported. The damage to the emotional and physical health and well-being of the victims and their families takes a significant toll as well.

FleecedThe Film
Fleeced is a new documentary produced by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC), which tells the story of older adults and their families who were victimized by different types of financial scams and abusive financial products. These individuals and their families transform from victims to advocates speaking out for others. Fleeced includes expert commentary from financial fraud and abuse prevention experts as well as national aging leaders and community advocates.

Who Should Attend?
Older-adult service providers and advocates, senior housing developers and operators, banks and financial institutions, legal services attorneys, federal, state, and local government agencies, elected officials and staff.

Keynoters
Roger Dickinson, Assembly Member, District 7
Lora Connolly, Director, California Department of Aging

Panelists
Annette Smith, Tenant Organizer, Lyn Roc Tenants Association, Rocklin (featured in film)
Heidi Richardson, Program Specialist, Sacramento County Adult Protective Services
Paulina Gonzalez, Executive Director, California Reinvestment Coalition
John Moon, District Manager, Community Development, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

This screening is sponsored by:

The National Community Reinvestment Coalition

The California Reinvestment Coalition

The Elder Financial Protection Network

California Coalition for Rural Housing

You can watch a trailer for Fleeced by clicking on this link.

If you’d like to print or share a 1 page flyer for the screening, click on this link: http://bit.ly/fleecedmovie

 

Editorials Against Payday Lenders

Editor’s note: The CFPB, a federal agency, has proposed new rules for payday, car title, and high-cost installment lenders.

 

BUT, they need to hear from consumers- that means you! We have an easy-to-use page where you can weigh in- it only takes a minute and will help bring about important consumer protections with these loans. Please share a line or two in the comments box about why you care about this issue and want to see strong federal reforms.

PS: You do NOT have to be a payday, car title, or installment borrower to sign the petition.

 

Editor’s note 2: If you’ve used payday, car title, or high-cost installment loans and would like to share your story with CRC so we can advocate against the damage these loans cause, please share it here.  It’s quick and easy and you could save others from financial heartaches. 

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is going to write rules about payday lending this year.   What have newspaper editorial boards around the country said about payday lenders?

Editorials about payday lending

 

1. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is barred by law from setting interest rates. But it can do more. It could help vulnerable, low-income borrowers by putting an end to deceptive advertising and balloon payments that make it impossible for borrowers to close out a loan. It could also force lenders to verify the borrower’s ability to repay before a loan is made. New York Times: Progress on Predatory Lending (Sept. 15, 2013)

2. It looks a lot like a game of Whac-A-Mole when it comes to regulating predatory lenders.  San Antonio Express News: Payday lenders remain creative (Sept. 18, 2013)

3. Some find the idea of “protecting people from themselves” odious. We don’t go there often, but consider this our nod to the notorious NASCAR rulebook acronym EIRI: “Except In Rare Instances.”  The Gadsen Times: OUR VIEW: Right move on payday loan database (Sept. 19, 2013)

4. Many unsavory ventures make their home in the seamy underbelly of the Internet, including some particularly unscrupulous payday lenders that use high fees and shady methods to drain borrowers’ offline bank accounts. The Los Angeles Times: Payday loans, online style (Oct. 13, 2013)

5. If lawmakers really want to distance themselves from the Calderon legacy, they should take a hard look at reversing some of its most egregious giveaways. One place to start would be the payday-loan industry.  Sacramento Bee: To separate themselves from Calderons, lawmakers should end payday loans (Nov. 5, 2013)

Where do payday lenders locate

6. “People get trapped,” charged Brian Rusche of JRLC. He painted a grim picture of borrowers so financially desperate and/or poorly informed that they take on debt burdens that exceed their ability to promptly repay. They frequently refinance their original loans, each time racking up additional fees that, industrywide, average $17 for every $100 extended. Repeat borrowers can wind up spending substantially more on interest than on the original principal, Rusche said.  The Star-Tribune: Better policing needed for payday lending (Nov. 15, 2013)

7. A March 2013 study by Tim Lohrentz, program manager for the Insight Center for Community Economic Development, an Oakland-based nonprofit, estimates that Fresno suffered a net economic loss of at least $3.6 million from payday lending in 2011. Fresno Bee: “Fresno should regulate new payday loan shops” (Nov. 19, 2013)

8. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Jesuit Social Research Institute at Loyola University in New Orleans have taken stances against these loan practices. Other faith-based groups in the state have also come out in opposition to the high payback rates. The Advertiser: Payday loans promote vicious cycle of indebtedness (Nov. 30, 2013)

9. Congress would do the country a world of good by revisiting the Military Lending Act and tightening the loopholes that have allowed payday lenders to continue to flourish. The payday loan industry invests a lot of its profits in lobbying efforts, but members of Congress have a chance to be heroes here. Shut down these high-interest loan sharks and give our servicemen and servicewomen a little protection from their predatory ways.  Rocky Mount Telegram: Congress should revisit payday loan law (Dec. 5, 2013)

10. The CFPB could establish some commonsense requirements such as requiring underwriting to ensure that a person receiving a payday loan can afford to pay it back, and limiting indebtedness to no more than 90 days per year to prevent loan churning. Florida lawmakers could also follow the lead of 17 states and the District of Columbia and put a double-digit rate cap on payday loans. If America’s fighting forces need protection from unscrupulous industry practices, why not the rest of us?  Tampa Bay Times: Protect consumers from predatory lending (Dec. 26, 2013)

payday borrower

11. The state’s sleazy payday loan industry, in general, and, in particular, those participants who gave tons of money to Swallow’s various campaigns and worked with the Swallow organization to destroy the career of a member of the Utah House, are a fit quarry for legislators’ justified rage.  Salt Lake Tribune: Legislature should take out its Swallow anger on payday lenders  (Dec. 29, 2013)

12. Those loans netted the lenders more than $34 million in fees — interest payments and charges for renewing a loan.That means a typical El Paso customer got a loan for $564, and paid the lender $387 for the privilege of having the money for less than two months. The El Paso city regulations will do little to dent the profit margins of these lenders, but will offer some additional protection for consumers. El Paso Times: El Paso City Council should affirm payday loan rules (Jan. 5, 2014)

13. To take someone with a gambling problem — or, more dangerously, the person who has a gambling problem but has yet to realize it — away from the human contact of the casino and into a situation where they can all too easily “get cash fast” without serious consideration of the terms and conditions of that loan is a step too far for us. Before any steps to legalize online gambling in Wisconsin, the Legislature should require that online gambling companies cannot also be in the business of online lending. The Journal-Times:  Casinos shouldn’t lend money (Jan 6, 2014)

14. Just as cities are increasing their efforts, the federal government also is wisely taking an interest in payday lending practices. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a newly formed regulatory agency, recently reached a $19 million settlement agreement with Cash America, after the federal bureau alleged that the company improperly reviewed and signed documents in debt collection lawsuits, overcharged military customers and impeded a regulatory examination. More enforcement actions against other lenders are likely. Dallas Morning News: Cities need to stand up to payday lenders (Jan 10, 2014)

Liana 1

15. Face it — well-heeled people generally don’t seek payday loans. Dire economic circumstances often drive people to these lenders. Being a lender of last resort for many Texans doesn’t mean that this industry should profit so obscenely from these circumstances. There should be more limits. Needed: A Legislature with the political fortitude to take on the payday lending industry, not to mention a governor — whoever he or she may be — to ensure that the interests of Texas consumers are protected. San Antonio Express News: Consumers merely collateral damage (Jan. 16, 2014)

16. Part of the problem for consumers is that payday loans can carry almost 400 percent annual interest rates, and often the borrower is trapped in a cycle of debt with unlimited rollover of the loans, extending the terms and increasing the payback costs.  Star-Telegram: Texas payday lending needs more regulation (Jan. 23, 2014)

17. Now that major banks are bowing out of the payday lending business, the next change should be a cap on what now are usurious interest rates.  Sacramento Bee: Large banks get out of payday lending, at last (Jan 24, 2014)

18. Having enlisted soldiers subject to predatory interest rates in excess of 400 percent motivated the Pentagon to lobby the U.S. Congress to pass national legislation in 2006 to protect GI’s from the most egregious payday loan practices. Seguin Gazette: Regulate payday loans (Jan. 26, 2014)

19. Regardless of how these payday loan schemes are structured, they’re wrong. They hurt people who don’t need any more hurting. Our honorable Indian nations shouldn’t get caught up in this dishonorable business.  The Cap Times: Plain Talk: Tribes should stay away from payday loans (Jan. 29, 2014)

20. Too many Idahoans with few options are victimized every day by predatory lenders. It’s a shame that Heider and his colleagues don’t have the guts to do anything about it. MagicValley.com: Heider’s ‘Limp’ Bill Isn’t Payday Reform (Feb. 19, 2014)

21. Pennsylvania senators should resist the argument that offering constituents a somewhat better deal than Internet payday rates is a public service. That would be laughable, if not for the fact that so many legislators think it’s a swell idea.  The Express Times: Pennsylvania should resist the lure of payday loans (Feb. 28, 2014)

shark loopholes

22. Expect those friendly loan sharks to once again spend whatever it takes to stop them. It will likely be more than it took to get a friendly bill passed in the Senate that would actually make real reform more difficult. The House, however, can stop this. Our representatives should refuse to be part of this subterfuge. Instead, the legislature should consider outlawing or strictly regulating payday loans as 11 other states have done. News-Leader.com: Time for real loan reform (March 2, 2014)

23. Although they are often touted as short-term instruments to get borrowers through a temporary financial rough patch, the reality is that these loans often create an all but inescapable cycle of debt as borrowers roll them over or take out more of these high-interest loans in a doomed attempt to pay off existing ones. They end up paying staggering amounts of interest on initially small loans. It’s usury, plain and simple.  Montgomery Advertiser: Payday loan bill a chance to reform (March 5, 2014)

24. That so many Missouri lawmakers continue to sell themselves like cheap hookers — OK, expensive hookers — to the payday lending industry is a pox on the entire state. Having read the campaign finance reports, we have little hope that the Missouri House will have the integrity to say no to the Senate’s phony reform bill.  St. Louis Post-Dispatch: A phony payday loan reform bill. Because 1,950 percent is not enough (March 5, 2014)

25. Louisiana has many residents who live under financial stress. Our state has more residents working low-wage jobs and with limited access to banks than the nation as a whole, according to a report by United Way of SELA. Louisianians are more likely to be uninsured and less likely to have savings than other Americans, according to the United Way report. And on and on, Louisiana residents face numerous financial difficulties. To layer exorbitant and unaffordable loan fees on top of that is cruel — and works against financial stability. The Times Picayune: Legislature needs to rein in payday loan costs (March 7, 2014)

26. Payday loan stores abound in disadvantaged neighborhoods and, although they have been banned by federal law from operating on military bases, they continue to surround installations, such as Barksdale Air Force Base in Shreveport. They also have begun to crop up around college campuses, such as Centennary College, also in Shreveport.  The Daily Advertiser: Bill limiting payday loans a step in the right direction (March 18, 2014)

27. Montana placed an interest rate cap of 36 percent APR on its payday loans in 2011 and half the payday lenders in that state disappeared.  We’re just not sure that’s a bad thing. Maybe it’s time for Congress to cap interest rates on Internet payday loans.  Idaho State Journal: Payday loan or debt trap? (March 19, 2014)

28. Payday loans are a major issue here. Louisiana has more residents working low-wage jobs and with limited access to banks than the nation as a whole, according to a report by United Way of SELA. Louisianians are more likely to be uninsured and less likely to have savings than other Americans, according to the report. Exorbitant and unaffordable loan fees make families even more financially unstable. The Times Picayune: Exorbitant payday loan interest must be limited by Legislature (March 26, 2014)

29. The revelations about payday loans are consistently negative. People pay too much for too little financial help, they frequently become caught up in a cycle of taking out repeated loans with high interest rates, and meaningful reform seems but a fantasy.  St. Joseph News Press: Payday loan trap awaits real reform (March 28, 2014)

30. The payday loan industry is wealthy and has a powerful lobby. Toughening the law won’t be easy, but it’s the right thing to do. The Post and Courier: Pain persists with payday loans (March 30, 2014)

31. At a hearing on payday lending on Tuesday in Nashville, Richard Cordray, the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, described the case of a Pennsylvania woman who lost her job at a hospital and turned to what she thought was a short-term loan of $800 to pay the rent. After repaying more than $1,400, she is working two jobs, still in debt and being hounded by bill collectors.  The New York Times: What Lending Rules Should Look Like (March 30, 2014)

32. The industry argues that payday loans provide a useful service to help people manage unexpected and temporary financial difficulties. Maybe that’s how it works 15 percent of the time. But for the remaining 85 percent, it looks like this industry is grabbing someone’s billfold and not letting go. Savannah Morning News: Payday loans are sinkholes for wallets (March 30, 2014)

33. It’s true that no one forces people to take out these loans, but this industry is based on a business model that fundamentally puts people in a financial hole. Most loans are for less than $1,000 to cover emergencies like a car repair or a medical bill. And most are not repaid in full and on time. About 85 percent of payday borrowers default on the loan or take out another loan, resulting in crippling debt far beyond the original loan. Dallas Morning News: Cities are picking up the fight against payday lenders (April 10, 2014)

34. Perhaps the most surprising thing about Utah’s average 474 percent interest rate on payday loans is that there are six states with higher rates. Idaho, South Dakota, Nevada, Delaware and Wisconsin all have at least 500 percent average interest on payday loans.  The Salt Lake Tribune: Time to cap payday-lending rates (April 18, 2014)

payday vultures

35. For instance, why are they allowed to charge such high interest rates (in the worst cases as high as 700 percent)? Our state has laws against loansharking activity, making it a felony to lend at interest rates “exceeding 45 percent per annum or the equivalent rate for a longer or shorter period,” punishable by fines of $10,000 or one to five years in jail (RS 15:511). However, payday lenders have been exempted by the Legislature. The state also has usury laws that limit interest rates to 12 percent a year; again, payday lenders were exempted by legislative action.  The News Star: Don’t allow payday lending reform to languish (April 20, 2014)

36. The payday loan industry says such restrictions merely push customers onto the Internet for loans that cost even more. Pew studied that contention and found that in restrictive states, there wasn’t a big shift to online lenders. Instead, people cut their expenses or sought help from employers, family and friends. Those are all better choices than getting caught in a destructive cycle of short-term loans. People in these predicaments need credit counseling, not another loan.  The Spokesman-Review: Payday loan study shows Idaho needs new laws (April 22, 2014)

37. Businesses, some owned by large financial institutions of Wall Street-stature, literally suck the poor dry through “payday loan” shops, or “car title loans,” “rent-to-own” stores, or even “refund-anticipation” loans after taxes are done. Standard Examiner: Our View: Payday predators (April 25, 2014)

38. If you’re looking for fast cash in Dothan, you’re in better shape than if you’re looking for fast food – there are more title pawn and payday loan outlets in town than McDonald’s restaurants. dothaneagle.com: Loans at 456 percent interest (May 9, 2014)

39. Amid a deluge of lobbying from national payday lending operations, the Legislature in both chambers has shown a reluctance to tighten the sky-high interest rates and fees paid by customers of the short-term loan outlets.  The New Orleans Advocate: Fair play for loans (May 10, 2014)

40. Loansharking used to be a pretty good racket for organized crime. People borrowed money from hip-pocket bankers, and those who didn’t repay their loans with exorbitant interest tacked on had to face the shark’s leg-breaker. But in Alabama, who needs loan sharks? Predatory lending is legal in many forms here — minus the muscle, or so we hope. Tuscaloosa News.com: Usury bill would lend a hand to many in Alabama (May 24, 2014)

41. This is a major victory because it proves that cities aren’t powerless against the proliferation of payday lenders or their most exploitative practices. Major cities that haven’t taken a stand against payday lending excesses — including Fort Worth, Irving and Arlington — have no excuse for further inaction. Dallas Morning News: Dallas’ payday ordinance wins in court (May 30, 2014)

42. Lawmakers should take note. Communities feel so strongly about keeping payday lenders at bay that they have rewritten zoning laws so new ones can’t pop up. The change doesn’t get at the crux of the problem.  The Des Moines Register: Payday loans need a legislative solution (May 31, 2014)

43. The best solution to the problem is for the state to regulate these types of businesses. Lawmakers, whose political campaigns are heavily financed by the payday loan industry, have lacked the will to take them on. Until they develop the political fortitude to tackle the job, it will be up to individual city councils to take on the jobs the members of the Texas Legislature have been shirking.  San Antonio Express News: Payday rules merit tough stance (June 3, 2014)

44. Considering Statehouse inaction, it’s appropriate that Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio is asking the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau “to write rules for small-dollar loans that will fill the gaps left by inadequate state laws.” The Plain Dealer: Past time for Ohio lawmakers to close payday-lending loophole

Utah Payday Lender cartoon

45. Let’s start with SB 694, the odious lending “reform” bill, which sailed through the Missouri Senate with tacit support from the payday lenders. That was a telltale clue; a real reform bill would have the industry’s lobbyists screaming like stuck pigs. The industry didn’t spend $1.6 million on lawmakers’ campaigns between 2003 and 2012 to have them institute real reform.  St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Unscrupulous lenders take it on the chin for a change (July 14, 2014)

46.  In the case of ACE, the company actually trained its in-house debt collectors using a manual that explicitly instructed them to “create a sense of urgency” in borrowers who had exhausted the money they had been lent and who lacked the ability to repay. At that point, the manual said, the collectors were to offer the delinquent borrower the option of refinancing or extending the loan. Even after borrowers said they could not afford to repay, the company pressured them into taking on more debt. Every new loan meant the borrowers paid new fees. New York Times: Payday Lenders Set the Debt Trap (July 19, 2014)

47.  The cycle-of-debt problem is acute throughout North Texas, and particularly so in low-income neighborhoods. While many major cities —Dallas, Austin, El Paso, Garland, Houston and San Antonio — have enacted tougher rules, our region badly needs Fort Worth, Arlington and Irving to join the reform fight. If this trio of cities would enact tougher lending rules, it would help deliver a powerful message to state lawmakers that payday lending abuses must end. Dallas Morning News: Feds turn up the pressure on payday lenders (July 20, 2014).

48. There are multiple databases in use, with no assurance that a would-be borrower is listed in the one a lender might choose to use. That creates the possibility of multiple loans that exceed the cap and that can create an all but inescapable cycle of debt. It’s a lucrative arrangement for the lenders, to be sure, but all other effects are detrimental. The Banking Department was right to step in with the regulation after repeated efforts to pass reform measures in the Legislature were thwarted by the clout of industry lobbyists. Montgomery Advertiser: Payday lenders ruling correct (August 13, 2014).

49. Normally, a free market void of government intrusion is preferable to mandated rules and regulations that can stifle business. However, in the case of payday loans and auto title loans — with exorbitant interest rates that can drag down a consumer far more than a credit card — some form of regulation is necessary. Amarillo Globe News Speak up on payday loans  (August 25, 2014).

50. From “refund anticipation loans” during tax season to “rent to own” appliances, numerous businesses turn a profit on the backs of the poor. Unfortunately, too many members of the Iowa Legislature don’t seem to care.  The Des Moines Register: It’s time lawmakers deal with payday loans:” (August 28, 2014).

51. The payday loan industry has flourished virtually unchecked in Kentucky for far too long, luring customers — often impoverished or desperate — with quick cash at a very high cost. The Courier Journal: More restrictions on payday lending (Sept 1, 2014).

ACE Cash Express

52. Many of these borrowers don’t live below the poverty line; they are folks who have hit a bump in the financial road and need short-term help. But a trip to the payday lender can turn that bump into a mountain of money problems.  The Dallas News: Finding innovative alternatives to payday lenders (Sept. 14, 2014).

53. Payday lending expanded significantly during the 1990s, when many states unwisely exempted the lenders from usury caps. Since then, many states have seen the light, but not nearly enough. Resourceful payday lenders have also managed to evade even tough state laws by setting up shop elsewhere or using the Internet. It’s clearly time for a national standard. The New York Times: A Rate Cap for All Consumer Loans (Oct. 18, 2014).

54. There is a dire need for small loans and grass-roots alternatives to payday lending. In time, the BCL program could grow and take a real bite out of the industry. That’s why nonprofits, employers and philanthropic organizations would be wise to support an operation like this one. The Dallas Morning News: Ending the payday lending cycle (Oct. 22, 2014).

55. What’s insidious about this business is that while claiming to a short-term lender to help people through a temporary cash crunch, their business success is really predicated on rolling the loan over and charging additional service fees. In a typical situation, borrowers provide a lender with a personal check dated for the next payday or permission to debit their bank account two weeks later, with a finance charge added. But the loans rarely end at that point. Instead, the borrowers often roll the loans over several times, racking up fees in the process. The typical payday borrower will pay more than $450 in fees for a $350 loan, according to experts in the field. Herald Review.com: `Payday’ loans need more regulation (Jan. 28, 2015)

56. Oddly, or perhaps tellingly, the opposition to Orr’s bill was led by a Democrat, Sen. Roger Bedford, of Russellville, who failed to retain his seat in November’s election. Bedford’s concern: He feared the move would “put people out of business.” One could argue that this is an added benefit, as horror stories of young mothers losing cars and being haunted by a single loan for years have become commonplace. With that in mind, the Consumer Protection Agency is drafting regulations that could cover a wide range of short-term loans. The federal government is stepping up because states have not. Decatur Daily: Payday loan centers prey on desperation (Feb. 11, 2015)

57. What this ignores is that people make mistakes — and that the industry likes to help them do so. Most borrow too much, forcing them to extend repeatedly, racking up fees and interest that far exceed the principal. Some lose the cars they need to get to work, or they struggle to pay rent after lenders make their electronic withdrawals. Bloomberg: No More Payday Predators  (Feb. 19, 2015).

58. The payday loan industry preys on the poorest working Americans, who take cash advances and often find they can never catch up with debts that keep spiraling higher. In much of the United States, payday lenders reap huge profits by charging triple-digit interest rates and high fees, all the while sending borrowers into an inescapable cycle of debt.  The Boston Globe: Hit payday lenders with new rules — and new competition (Feb. 23, 2015)

59. Having members of the community sink deeper into debt helps no one other than the few who take advantage of real need or bad judgment. If our state legislators won’t step up to the plate on this one, maybe the CFPB will.  The Free Lance Star: Rein in payday loans (March 1, 2015)

60. The Jacksonville City Council is considering rules that would make it more difficult for payday lenders to operate within its city limits. Like many other Alabama cities, Jacksonville is left to cope with results of state laws that — despite recent small steps of reform — loosely regulate payday lenders and that, in the words of Councilwoman Sandra Sudduth, “prey on low-income people.” The Aniston Star: Preying on people (March 10, 2015).

61. Payday lenders survive by playing a game of cat and mouse. As individual municipalities crack down, lenders battle in court, use campaign contributions to defeat legislation or simply set up outlets outside of city limits. The Dallas Morning News: Ending payday lenders’ game of cat and mouse (March 15, 2015).

62. Ferguson said a $700 loan under the new law would cost $1,195 to repay — or $400 more than the $795 repayment under current rules. He noted that consumers already may convert payday loans to installment plans of up to 180 days with no additional fees, and that DFI reports that almost 15 percent of borrowers already do that. The Olympian: Payday lending bills bad for the poor (March 17, 2015).

63.  News of the draft rules prompted a predictable outcry from the short-term loan industry but also worries from consumer groups that the regulations permit too many loopholes. We have seen in Missouri that overly permissive payday lending leads to debt traps. As regulators refine their rules, they should lean more toward toughness. The Kansas City Star: Tougher Lending Rules Are Welcome (March 26, 2015).

Cartoon - Shark Infested Waters

64. Alabama has suffered from a predatory lender problem for years, and the state Legislature hasn’t solved it. A few well-intentioned lawmakers have tried to push bills through the Statehouse that would cap that interest rate at 36 percent. We’ve championed those bills for years. But they haven’t passed. The Aniston Star: Usury in Alabama – end it (March 27, 2015).

65. Given that they are seemingly everywhere — Obama said Alabama has more four times more payday loan businesses than it does McDonald’s franchises — it would seem obvious that even the high default rate doesn’t keep them from being profitable. Obama says there’s nothing wrong with a business making a profit, and we agree. We also agree that if that business is “making that profit by trapping hardworking Americans in a vicious cycle of debt,” as he said Thursday, then something needs to be done — probably at both the state and federal level. The Gadsen Times: Payday loans still an issue (March 28, 2015).

66. A truly strong rule would require short-term lenders to examine the prospective borrower’s ability to repay, without exception, and make sure that all loans carry reasonable costs. Lenders would earn less profit. But far fewer working-class borrowers would be bled dry and driven into bankruptcy. New York Times: Progress on Payday Lending (March 28, 2015).

67. Payday Lending is capitalism at its unloveliest. It’s a business that wouldn’t even exist if the market were providing everyone with enough income to meet their needs — yet 12 million adults, the vast majority of them low-income, resorted to short-term, high-interest loans to cover cash shortages in 2010. The Washington Post: Payday lending is ripe for rules (March 29, 2015).

68. We believe in a free market. But we also believe that society has an obligation to make sure people aren’t taken advantage of. The interest rates being charged by payday loan businesses are excessive and predatory. Short-term lenders say they are necessary if their businesses are to make a profit. If that’s the case, we agree with Obama: They need a better business model. Tuscaloosa News: Something to agree with Obama about (March 29, 2015).

69. In one case, as Herring noted, a Mechanicsburg couple took out a $2,100 payday loan four years ago. They’ve paid more than $15,000 in interest and principal, yet still have an outstanding balance, according to the lender. “Some of these loans are little more than financial quicksand, designed to fail from the second they’re made,” Herring said. “Virginians deserve better, and I’m going to use the resources and authority of my office to make sure they get it.” The Virginia-Pilot: Putting brakes on predatory lenders (March 30, 2015).

70. When someone needs to take out a loan in order to make payments on a loan he’d received to keep up on an earlier loan, he’s on a terribly rocky road. And yet, that describes the situation – the best-case scenario – for fully 45 percent of those who take out a so-called payday loan, those frequently touted short-term offers meant to get people out of an unexpected scrape, to pay an unanticipated bill, and then move on with their lives. Except that what most folks move on to is another loan. And still another after that. The Republican: Proposed payday lending curbs would end the worst abuses (March 30, 2015).

71. Payday lenders require borrowers to agree to give them post-dated checks or debit authorizations as a condition of the loan. But once payday lenders get into a customer’s checking, savings, or prepaid account, getting them out can be a nightmare. Consumers end up with unanticipated withdrawals or debits, transaction and insufficient fund fees, all of which add to the overall cost the loan. The Dallas Morning News: Feds target abusive payday collection practices (March 30, 2015).

72. Payday lenders have established themselves as a powerful political force. They make a lot of money and they invest a lot of it in politicians, both at the federal and state levels. It either fights off regulation, as it has done continually in Missouri, or it becomes a shape-shifter. St. Louis Post Dispatch: Going halfway in reining in the payday predators (March 30, 2015).

73. The bureau says more than 80 percent of these loans are rolled over or renewed within two weeks, generating more fees for lenders. More than 70 percent of the loans are for basic expenses, not emergencies. Forth Worth Star-Telegram: Payday loans could face repayment test. (March 30, 2015).

74. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has finally turned its regulatory gaze to short-term lenders — think payday loan and automobile title loan companies — that build businesses around loans that can’t be repaid. Los Angeles Times: A chance to rein in payday loan abuse (March 31, 2015).

75. In 2008, Ohio made efforts to stymie the industry’s rise, but payday lenders found a loophole in the law that allows them to continue operating. Lawmakers have yet to fix their mistakes. The Independent: Federal agency introduces rules for lenders (March 31, 2015).

75.  Senate Bill 5899 takes the “payday” out of payday lending by converting the product to … installment loans. But these would be more expensive loans for the many borrowers who take out a six-month loan, the only kind that would be allowed. The total cost of a $700 loan could balloon to $1,195. The cost for some of those who do not take the full six months to repay would be lower, but the bulk of the industry’s customers would still end up paying more. The Spokesman Review: Loan bill unfair to vulnerable Washington state borrowers. (April 1, 2015).

payday lobbyist

76. Like locusts in a biblical plague, Alabama is overrun with predatory lenders because lawmakers lack the intestinal fortitude to do anything about it. The Anniston Star: Alabama’s lending scourge. (April 1, 2015).

77. Meanwhile the CFPB plan to curb payday lending at the federal level is promising in that it would require that payday lenders verify borrowers’ incomes before approving a loan. If someone clearly cannot repay a loan, he shouldn’t be given one. The Post and Courier: Protect consumers from loan predators (April 7, 2015)

78. The majority of borrowers are working-class people strapped by debt or facing immediate cash needs. It is unfortunate that people find themselves in such situations, with nowhere else to turn, but acting in a financially responsible manner is a two-way street. Payday lenders should be required to engage in responsible lending practices, which do not include luring borrowers into a bottomless pit of obligation. Desert News: Payday lenders should be required to practice responsible lending (April 9, 2015)

79. Alabama would be foolish to shut down legal industries that provide worthwhile services. But if payday lenders can’t survive by charging fair interest rates to their customers, that doesn’t mean the state should continue to allow predatory banking practices within its borders. The Anniston Star: A bad model for payday lenders. (April 9, 2015)

80. Largely, the purpose of payday loans is for someone to borrow more money than they can afford to pay back at the end of the term and then to re-borrow all over again. It’s this practice that’s led to both our neighboring states Georgia and North Carolina essentially bannning predatory payday loan businesses. Aiken Standard: Add greater protections from unaffordable loans. (April 10, 2015)

payday-loan-shark-web-7-1-12

81. Lenders should be ashamed of preying on people in such dire straits that they are willing to agree to triple-digit interest rates — and so should the conservative groups supporting the lenders in a public relations campaign. No matter how you dress it up, usury is wrong. Hartford Courant: CT Right To Crack Down On Online Loan Sharks (April 13, 2015).

82. There is a dirty little secret about payday loans: The typical borrower owes past loans an average of 212 days, taking out one loan after another — up to eight annually in Oklahoma. The payday loan industry comes out the winner, raking in $435 billion in fees nationally each year. Tulsa World: Payday loans and the president (April 14, 2015)

83. Opting for a different legislative solution is one thing. Passing a bill out of committee that includes interest rate reform, but sending a different version of that bill forward for a full House vote is quite another. Rep. Luke owes her colleagues and constituents some answers. House and Senate conferees, meanwhile should fix the mess and reinsert a reasonable interest rate cap in this long-overdue reform measure, one that protects the interests of some of Hawaii’s most vulnerable consumers. Honolulu Civil Beat: Luke’s Bait-and-Switch on Payday Lending Must be Fixed. (April 16, 2015)

84. Requiring someone with limited financial savvy to mentally amortize a loan over time and factor in all possible fees and costs is as unfair as charging 1,000 percent interest rates. Wouldn’t it be better to let consumers know up front the worst-case scenario so they can make an informed decision on whether to get the loan from a storefront? Or not?   Albuquerque Journal: Loan reforms should have consumer clarity at core. (April 17, 2015).

85. This month, 57 leaders of foundations, including The Pittsburgh Foundation, signed a letter urging the consumer bureau to get tough on payday lenders. If the lenders sincerely desire to help, not exploit, struggling consumers, they should not fight reasonable regulation. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Humane lending: Payday loans need stiff regulation from Congress. (April 22, 2015).

86. And as the Kennebec Journal noted, Advance America has paid millions to settle allegations of illegal lending practices, such as providing payday loans at rates as high as 368 percent in Pennsylvania – which caps small loan rates at about 24 percent. When Bruce Poliquin was named to the House Financial Services Committee, he declared that one of the duties of government is “to protect our consumers during their everyday lives.” Now that the government is poised to put more consumer protections in place, Poliquin should be held accountable for putting these words into action. Portland Press Herald: Payday loan limits pose quandary for Poliquin (April 22, 2015).

87. We understand their desire to preserve the status quo and limit oversight. Payday lenders in the U.S. take in about $46 billion annually. The industry is practically a money-printing machine. We’ve said repeatedly that we don’t want to put those folks out of business. We just want a fair playing field where desperation doesn’t mean a disadvantage. The Gadsen Times: Payday loan database ruling a victory for consumers (April 29, 2015)

88. Payday and title-loan lenders who charge customers exorbitant interest rates are nothing if not morally criminal. The well-to-do don’t usually frequent those places. Instead, it’s everyday Alabamians who often feel they have no choice but to risk a loan from a payday lender. Aniston Star: Do what’s right, Alabama, about predatory lending (May 4, 2015)

89. There are issues that come up again and again in the Texas Legislature, enjoy broad support, maybe even make their way through the House or the Senate — but never make it into law. Take attempts to reform payday lending, for example. Austin American Stateman: Pass stiffer rules on payday lenders (May 4, 2015)

90. Three bills are in the Statehouse now that would cap interest rates and give borrowers, who pay annual interest rates between 400 and 500 percent, more time to repay their loans. But the bills have sat largely dormant while our legislators discuss other priorities large and small. TimesDaily.com: Predatory lending law not likely this session.  (May 8, 2015).

91. In Washington last week, Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission called payday loans “a form of economic predation [that] grinds the faces of the poor into the ground.” Fort Worth Star Telegram: “Another chance in Austin on payday lending.” (May 15, 2015).

92. That’s because these loans almost inevitably end up as a gateway to more debt; in Virginia, state data has shown, about 80 percent of customers take out a second loan to repay the first. Virginia Pilot: Taking aim at predatory lenders (June 4, 2015)

93. Texas cities must be part of the solution, too. In the absence of state action to regulate abusive payday lenders, cities owe it to their residents to continue to lead payday lending reform in Texas. Dallas is among a coalition of more than 20 cities statewide that have passed zoning and other ordinances to limit abusive payday lenders. Dallas Morning News: Dallas charity takes steps to help end the payday-loan debt cycle (June 21, 2015)

94. The unfolding legal actions against the online lenders must also be noticed in Topeka, Jefferson City and Washington. Too many politicians from Missouri and Kansas are beholden to traditional and online payday lenders who have contributed to their campaigns. The Kansas City Star: Crackdown on payday loan scams is welcome (July 12, 2015)

95. Charles Cline of Dayton said he’s been stuck in the payday lending trap. He said he took out a $1,000 loan and ended up paying $1,600, because of extensions, fees, and interest. “Trying to help yourself get out of a bad situation, you end up hurting yourself more,” Mr. Cline said. “They are preying on people that are poor, that are less fortunate, that need to get by throughout the week.” The Blade: High interest loans cripple Ohioans (July 21, 2015)

96. The government-to-government relationships between Indian tribes and states are sometimes delicate and nuanced, a balance of sovereign powers. But when a tribe comes into another state to break its laws, it has gone too far and should be penalized. Hartford Courant: Out of State Tribal Loan Sharking Shouldn’t Fly in CT (Sept. 14, 2015)

Payday Loan Report

97.The new rules are a welcome move but, regrettably, they do not apply to loans made to the general public. Some cities, such as San Antonio, have passed local ordinances to curb the predatory lenders’ unscrupulous practices, but the issue would be best addressed by state lawmakers. Sadly, the Texas Legislature lacks the political fortitude to take on the powerful payday loan industry and protect the consumer. San Antonio Express News: Military Payday Loan Rules Welcome (Sept. 16, 2015)

98.Unfortunately, Virginia’s laws and regulatory structure create an environment primed for loan sharks to tempt unsuspecting, cash-strapped customers and then squeeze them for thousands of dollars. As Herring and others have noted, some customers end up paying far more in interest than they ever owed in principal yet still end up losing their car for missing a payment. Virginian-Pilot: Another eye on predatory lenders (Sept 18, 2015).

99. And if that’s the case, they’re ripe for the plucking. They’ll hand over their car title in return for a two-year loan that averages $1,112 and carries interest rates of between 96 percent and 180 percent. Roughly 1 in 5 of them will wind up forfeiting his vehicle because he can’t make the payment, even after taking a second or third loan that compounds the problem. St. Louis Post Dispatch: Whatever they call themselves, payday lenders are a scourge (Sept. 22, 2015).

100. More than 45,000 people in Utah who took out payday loans last year were unable to pay them off within the agreed-upon time frame, a stunning number, but one that shouldn’t be surprising given two factors. First, payday lenders thrive by luring customers into a cycle of perpetual debt and, second, they can get away with it under Utah’s relatively lax regulations. Desert News: Utah payday loans lead many to debt trap (Oct. 15, 2015).

101. It’s time to put the best interest of Missourians ahead of lucrative loan companies that, for the most part, are not even based in Missouri. They swoop in from other states to take advantage of Missouri’s lax oversight, springing up like so many fast food restaurants in areas where people are cash-strapped. SpringField News Leader: State should enact real reform (Oct. 31, 2015).

102. The General Assembly, in failing to close payday loan loopholes, is all but declaring that 20-odd lobbyists carry more weight in Columbus than 3.4 million Ohio voters. Is that really a message that House Speaker Clifford Rosenberger and Senate President Keith Faber want to send?   The Plain Dealer: Curb Ohio payday lenders who continue to defy voters’ will (Nov 11, 2015).

103. Getting once-reluctant Arlington council members to oppose the political clout of the payday industry is no small achievement. Fort Worth, Irving and Arlington represent the home turf of two of the nation’s big payday lenders, Ace Cash Express and Cash America, both of which cast a large shadow.  The Dallas Morning News: Arlington shows courage on payday lending (Nov. 12, 2015).

Payday Lenders Going out of Business

104. Closer to home, worthy local efforts have sought to develop alternatives to payday and car title lenders. The lenders are right to that extent: There is a need for such financial help. What should not be permitted is rank exploitation of the vulnerable, something Ohio once declared emphatically, only to have the call neglected and ignored.  Akron Beacon Journal: Payday lending still surges in Ohio (Nov. 15, 2015).

105. Lawmakers have a choice: they can continue to kowtow to an industry that preys on the poor or they can do what’s responsible and protect those who too often are susceptible to the industry’s quick-cash scams. Canton Repository: Payday lenders continue to gouge borrowers  (Nov. 22, 2015).

106. “The total lent to her was less than $800,” Field said. “It cost me over $12,000 to extricate her from that. A good portion of that went to payday lenders, but there was a good bit of collateral damage as well. These folks had access to her bank account, they made withdrawals, checks bounced, overdraft fees accrued, utilities were cut off and had to be re-established, a rent check bounced. If you don’t have a dad to come bail you out and you get into this, you’re sunk.” Waco Tribune-Herald: Regulating predatory practices of payday lenders should be discussed, debated (Nov. 29, 2015).

107. “Payday lenders say they provide a service to people who need quick money. What they don’t say is that paying 400 percent interest on loans that roll over and pile up debt at the speed of light is anything but a service.” The Dallas Morning News: Taking a bigger bite out of payday lending (Dec. 3, 2015)

108.  “Members of the Utah Legislature have attempted to put limits on interest rates, collection tactics and other excesses of payday and signature loan operations. Which is difficult, given how much money the legal loan sharks pour into lobbying and campaign donations and how easy it is to get around laws that are aimed at specific kinds of financial transactions by inventing a new kind.” The Salt Lake Tribune: Payday loans are no gift (Dec 23, 2015).

109. “According to an October report from the Utah Department of Financial Institutions, over 45,000 loans were not repaid in full at the end of 10 weeks. The Salt Lake Tribune recently found that this resulted in at least7,927 lawsuits from payday lenders against delinquent clients from July 1, 2014, to June 30, 2015. And since the average payday loan carries an interest rate of 482 percent, these lawsuits were often seeking sums that were exponentially larger than the amount of money that people originally borrowed.” The Salt Lake Tribune: Nearly 8,000 lawsuits by payday lenders against their clients (Jan 1, 2016).

110. “One would institute a 36 percent rate cap on all installment loans, even when they are more than $2,500. Yancey also proposes a bill that would limit open-ended credit agreements by requiring the firms offering them also sell actual consumer goods. In another bill — an attempt to crack down on the increasing “bait-and-switch” tactics — lenders who offer payday or car title loans would be barred from offering installment loans or open-ended agreements.” Daily Press: “Quick loans take hostages” (Feb. 2, 2016)

111. “And they outline the utter incongruity of local business leaders, churches and nonprofits coming together in an unprecedented way to battle chronic poverty while payday lending continues to plague borrowers ignorant of the high costs involved in patronizing such establishments. One can see why the Citizens for Responsible Lending movement has gained such momentum, even as state officials have twiddled their thumbs.”  The Waco Tribune-Herald: In the wake of state, federal failures, cities must step up with lending reforms (Feb 5, 2016).

112. The collapse of Kansas City’s payday loan bubble under the squeeze of federal enforcement has broken up families and caused rifts in churches, country clubs and executive suites. Too many people and institutions here were too quick to embrace the new “entrepreneurs” when they showed up with fancy cars and quick cash. Too many people didn’t want to think about the misery at the other end, as consumers were harassed to pay interest and fees they couldn’t possibly afford. Now it’s payday, all right. And it should serve as a cautionary tale.  The Kansas City Star: The rise and fall of Scott Tucker and other payday lenders is a sobering Kansas City story (February 12, 2016)

113. This newspaper has long called for continued crackdowns on these payday and auto title lenders. The lenders say they provide a service to people who need quick money. But some also charge 400 percent interest on loans that roll over and pile up perpetual debt. It’s a cycle that keeps poor people poor. The Dallas Morning News: Cane’s opening signals progress in southern Dallas (February 20, 2016).

114. Glenda Wood of Bellevue told state senators that when she and her husband took out a $500 payday loan for tires they “kind of got trapped in this cycle of basically just renewing that same loan over and over again, just paying the fees and not paying back the loan itself.” Lincoln Journal Star: Improve payday loans (February 20, 2016)

115. The 2000 law capped annual interest rates on title loans at 30 percent. It barred lenders from imposing finance charges, fees and prepayment penalties. It prohibited them from selling new or used vehicles, auto parts and insurance. It required them to accept partial payments.  But unscrupulous lenders eventually figured out they could steer around those strong protections by becoming licensed under Florida’s consumer-finance law and pushing “voluntary” insurance and other expensive add-ons of dubious value to raise the cost and effective interest rate of their loans.   Orlando Sentinel: Launch new crackdown on title-loan abuses (February 27, 2016)

116. While payday loans often involve small amounts, they usually end up creating a pile of debt for unsuspecting borrowers through sky-high interest rates on loans that roll over quickly. Consumers who aren’t able to make full payments take on debt and fees they can’t repay. Eventually, such financial troubles hurt neighborhoods and can keep working-class borrowers from a better financial future, a point Ishihara and other supporters made well as they campaigned for passage. Longview News Journal: Longview made right choice on managing payday lending industry (March 2, 2016)

117. Those dots don’t connect. Democrats can’t purport to be the party that champions consumer rights when their chairwoman is aggressively working to leave consumers at the mercy of an industry whose business model is to lure low-income people into debt traps. The Kansas City Star: It’s ridiculous that the leader of the national Democratic Party is protecting payday lenders (March 4, 2016)

118. Instead of helping the industry prey on Kentuckians, lawmakers should be requiring payday lenders to abide by the same 36 percent interest rate cap as other lenders, as 11 states already do and Senate Bill 101 proposes. And regulators should be encouraging banks to get back into the small-loan business. Lexington Herald Leader: Kentucky Needs a Raise, not a New Debt Trap (March 8, 2016)

119. The latest product that would be created by HB 520 is a risky lending product named “Flexible Credit Loans,” or “Flex Loans” for short. Consider the harm this can do. After making payments on a $500 loan for 12 months, a borrower will pay over $1,000 — and still owe $270. The bill also allows payday lenders to keep people in debt for thousands of dollars for months, perhaps years. The Times Leader: Payday loan bill needs quick death  (March 9, 2016)

120. Orr’s bill could come up for a vote this week, but it won’t be a surprise if it’s either delayed again or if it’s defeated. Alabama legislators pay a lot more lip service to helping citizens than they do to actually acting on legislation that might break the cycle of poverty, even with a bill that doesn’t involve new taxes. Orr’s bill might not be a perfect solution, but allowing 400 percent interest on loans to the people who can least afford to pay the rate borders on criminal. It’s time for a change. The Gadsen Times: Time for change on payday loans (March 14, 2016)

121. But those who avail themselves of this service likely are unable to get a traditional bank loan and already are in a financial bind. Perhaps even desperate – needing to fix an aging car to have transportation to a low-paying job, is just one example — they often wind up in a debt trap, taking out a new loan to pay off the preceding one. Since most payday loans must be repaid in their entirety within two to four weeks, this rollover cycle can continue indefinitely, during which the lender can add fees.  Tuscaloosa News: GOP has no excuse on payday loan bill (March 22, 2016)

122. It’s a small but important step, and lawmakers should make its passage a priority, not only for Alabama’s poor, but for all residents who ultimately bear the cost of these business practices. Dothan Eagle: Another swipe at short-term lending  (April 7, 2016)

123. The goal, says JIFFI CEO Jack Markwalter, is “to create a financially inclusive environment in the South Bend community.” That’s in sharp contrast to some of the horror stories you’ve probably heard about payday loans, which are typically taken out by people who have poor credit that prevents them from obtaining traditional loans with lower interest rates. Critics call the loans debt traps that create a cycle of borrowing, repaying and re-borrowing — with fee after fee — that result in a whopping annual percentage rate of 391 percent. South Bend Tribune: Loans that won’t break the bank (April 13, 2016)

124. Here’s the reality about payday lenders in Alabama: They charge exorbitant interest rates and the state Legislature thus far is too weak-kneed to rein them in. Lawmakers allow it to happen. They should be ashamed. The Anniston Star: Rein in the payday lenders in Alabama (April 20, 2016).

125. Payday loans should be a one-time occurrence to get you back on your feet. Under today’s rules they are a trap that many cannot get out of, and the original debt can get more than quadrupled by interest. WTVM: Payday Loans  (April 21, 2016).

126. What really needs to happen, of course, is for state legislators to pass laws to control how payday lending works in Texas. Had this ever been done, Longview would not have had to take action on its own. Given that the Legislature is not likely to act — it has declined to do so before — we need to be responsible enough to take control. That’s exactly what the Longview City Council did with its ordinance, and we are grateful for that. Longview News-Journal: Program is worth a look as way to loosen grip of payday loan predators (April 27, 2016).

127. “The payday loan business model makes extraordinary profits by locking people into a cycle of debt,” said Sen. Joe Bolkcom, D-Iowa City. He has repeatedly introduced legislation intended to protect consumers, but his efforts got nowhere due to a lack of support from other lawmakers. “Every single loan is a rip-off. Borrowers are generally low-wage earners living paycheck to paycheck. In Iowa they would be better off getting loans from loan sharks. They would find better terms from loan sharks,” he said. The Des Moines Register: State must do more to stop payday lending (May 28, 2016).

128. You would think that lenders would do this sort of “underwriting” anyway, but payday lenders don’t because they can extract payment from the borrower’s account ahead of other creditors. And if the borrower’s checking account doesn’t have enough to cover the debt, lenders typically roll over the principle into a new loan and tack on more fees. Such rollovers are common; more than half of payday loans are issued in sequences of 10 or more consecutive loans.  Los Angeles Times: Payday loans are often a last resort for the poor. That doesn’t mean they should be exploitative (June 2, 2016)

129. Most people ended up paying more in fees than the amount they borrowed. In other words, the system is expressly designed to bleed borrowers, who are typically struggling workers or people on fixed incomes who are just getting by. New York Times: A Lame Response to Predatory Loans (June 2, 2016)

130. If these lenders hadn’t left so many victims in their wake, their assertions of innocence might almost be believable. But it’s because they’ve behaved so abominably that federal regulators are now justified in intervening. St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Crackdown is comeuppance for payday predators (June 2, 2016)

131. Mosquitoes, leeches and vampires get a bad rap, but there’s another variety of blood sucker with a voracious appetite for unsuspecting victims: payday lenders who loan consumers relatively small amounts of money for short periods of time only to suck up those dollars and much more by trapping them in expanding levels of debt through ruinous fees and interest rates. The Baltimore Sun: Fleecing the Poor (June 2, 2016)

132. In their absence, people turn to other sources. These include borrowing from friends or co-workers, asking for help from charitable institutions, negotiating with landlords and creditors for an extension on payments, and availing themselves of pawn shops. None is a perfect solution. But they are preferable to being pulled into an exploitative debt trap. USA Today: Will Payday Lending Rules Pay Off?  (June 3, 2016)

133. The bureau says about 80 percent of payday borrowers cannot afford to pay off their loans when they are due, so they take out a new loan and incur new fees. “It’s much like getting into a taxi just to ride across town and finding yourself stuck in a ruinously expensive cross-country journey,” said Richard Cordray, the agency’s director. Forth Worth Star Telegram: “Payday loans are debt traps that need constraints” (June 3, 2016)

134. “Even the term “payday loan” is often a misnomer. It implies that the consumer will be given only enough money that they can quickly repay, with minimum interest, when their next payday arrives. Kansas City Star: “Get tougher in reforming the disgraceful payday loan industry” (June 3, 2016)

135. “Payday lenders — businesses offering small, short-term, high-interest loans — serve a purpose. They, at least in theory, provide cash-strapped folks who don’t have strong credit access to cash to tide them over until their next payday.  Unfortunately, that single loan too often spurs more loans to pay off the original debt — plus interest. This can turn a short-term problem into a deep financial mess.” The Union Bulletin:  Putting federal regulations on payday lenders has merit (June 3, 2016)

136. “Low-income workers often need small, short-term loans to help them meet their expenses pending their next paycheck. But the economic model for the “payday loan” industry is rigged against them, depending on their inability to pay the loan on time and repeatedly borrow.” The Times Tribune: Rules protect consumers (June 3, 2016)

137. “Naturally, payday loan businesses, which typically require only a checking account and a pay stub, are easy to turn to in those situations. But for many, the high-interest payday loans turn into a debt trap, forcing people to take out one loan after the other to pay off the earlier loan, its interest and meet other expenses.” The Herald: Tougher rules needed on payday loans (June 3, 2016)

138. The industry cynically pitches itself as salvation to the population it abuses. These are meant to be short-term loans, but with exorbitant fees. A customer who borrows $500 would generally be expected to repay it within two weeks and at an additional cost of $75, equal to an annual interest rate of 391 percent. But the clients of these shady operations are poor to begin with and often cannot make the repayment. They borrow more and before long can owe more in interest than the original loan amount. Some of them are even encouraged to borrow more as the solution to their problem. The Buffalo News: Payday loan firms swindle the poor and are a deserving target of new rules  (June 4, 2016)

139. In another telling win for consumer rights, the Obama administration is cracking down on high-interest payday loans, a financial practice that preys on low-income people barely scraping by. The move should bring relief from abusive tactics that hit the poor hardest. The San Francisco Chronicle: Sweeping changes should reform abusive payday loans (June 4, 2016)

140. The set of regulations, which will be open for public comment for several months, wasn’t as tough as some consumer advocates had hoped, but they will offer considerably more protections than exist now in a majority of the nation. Understandably, the payday lending industry is opposed to the proposals, contending that they will drive many payday lenders out of business and eliminate a safety valve for people who need short-term cash that they can’t borrow elsewhere. But an objective look at how this industry works suggests that in far too many cases it is not doing the consumer any favors. It’s a business model that finds its most success when its customers fail. The proposed regulations are a big step in the right direction. The Herald-Dispatch: Restrictions on payday lenders long overdue (June 5, 2016)

141. An unfortunate soul in a tight spot might have to get a $500 loan for two weeks to pay an unexpected bill. But then two weeks later he might have to pay off that loan and take out another to pay the rent. Then two weeks later pay off the second loan and take out a third to pay the car note. It’s a downward spiral. And when you add up all those weeks he’s had to re-do the loan, the yearly interest rate could add up to hundreds of percents. Arkansas Democrat Gazette: The Arkansas Way (June 5, 2016)

142. The payday industry is complaining. No surprise there. But tightening the reins on those lenders is necessary. This is predatory lending aimed at the working poor. The Toledo Blade: Tighten Payday Reins (June 7, 2016)

143. “In tandem, good local payday lending regulations and the proposed federal rules will greatly assist those in desperate financial straits from becoming hostages of unscrupulous payday lenders,” Olson said. Indeed. Forth Worth Star-Telegram: Bishop’s plea pushes city on predatory lending (June 10, 2016)

144. “The big money comes from rolling over an initial two-week or one-month loan into yet another loan – and another and another. One typical $500 loan after another is written, with interest and financing charges of as much as $75 each. Entrapped borrowers find themselves another two weeks older and deeper in debt, to paraphrase the old folk song about the hardships faced by a Kentucky coal miner.” Youngstown Vindicator: “Federal regs are needed to rein in payday lenders” (June 11, 2016)

145. “The payday industry is complaining. No surprise there. But tightening the reins on those lenders is necessary. This is predatory lending aimed at the working poor.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Payday loan perfidy: Crack down on the lending schemes that fleece  (June 13, 2016)

146. “Drive around ZIP code 77022 on the city’s north side and one gets a clear picture of the strategy used by payday and auto title lending stores. Conspicuous in appearance and offering promises of a friendly experience, the stores are an irresistible snare for those desperately looking for a way to pay bills. ZIP code 77022, according to the American Community Survey, is among the more impoverished ZIP codes in Houston, with an average household income of $39,658.” Houston Chronicle: Congress should support federal consumer agency rules that rein in predatory loans. (June 15, 2016)

147. “Yet states that already outlaw these types of high-interest, short-term loans, including Pennsylvania and New Jersey, have reason to suspect that the rewriting of regulations could open a backdoor to a similar kind of borrowing — the kind that targets cash-strapped people who often are unable to repay the loans. Note to the feds: Don’t do us any favors.” The Express Times: Don’t open the door to payday loans in Pa.  (June 16, 2016)

148. But you know what else? According to the government, seven out of 10 payday loan borrowers are back within a month, taking out another payday loan, again paying 400 percent annualized interest. And two out of 10 new borrowers wind up taking 10 or more loans, one after another, piling fees and interest on top of the original debt, not to mention bank charges when online lenders repeatedly try to debit payments from customers’ accounts.  This can quickly become a financial hole from which there is no escape. Telegraph Herald: Our opinion: How to answer the $400 question?  (June 29, 2016)

149. All of this rates as a substantial improvement. At the same time, consumer advocates argue persuasively for more aggressive steps. For instance, the ability-to-pay criteria would take effect after a borrower had six payday loans. Put another way, too much damage already would be done. The standard must take effect from the start. The Beacon Journal: Be precise with payday lenders (July 1, 2016)

150. The rules portend a major shake-up to the payday loan industry, which frankly needs rattling. The earth already has started to move. Google recently banned ads for payday loans, saying it wanted to protect users from “deceptive or harmful financial products.” The heat is being felt in the political arena, too. U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston, was under heavy fire for taking money from payday lenders. She backed a bill in the House that would have blocked the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s new rules, but she reversed course and now supports them. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is on the right track with a framework of regulations that have the potential to make a real difference for consumers. With the political wind at their backs, regulators should make the rules as robust as possible in the interest of borrowers who can least afford to waste money.  The Tampa Bay Times: Stronger payday loan rules protect borrowers (July 1, 2016).

151. What Cheves found is that, despite repeated violations and written agreements to follow the law, many of Kentucky’s 517 payday lenders continued violating it. DFI typically has assessed the minimum $1,000 fine, even for repeat violators. Very few stores are shut but DFI did finally revoke the license of a Louisville shop that entered wrong numbers an astounding 353 times for only 12 customers in three years. Lexington Herald Leader: Trap lenders, not stressed Kentuckians (July 15, 2016).

152. A regulation that limits payday-loan amounts to what borrowers can afford to repay, given their existing obligations, will be doing everyone a favor, and we look forward to that becoming law. Las Vegas Sun: Short-term loans shouldn’t make finances even worse (July 18, 2016).

153. Low-income Floridians facing emergencies or unexpected shortfalls need to be able to borrow money quickly. But they also need rescuing from the payday loan industry that preys on their desperation. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has a solid framework on the table to begin reining in the industry’s worst practices. When finalized, the new rules should also bring needed competition so that vulnerable borrowers have options. Tampa Bay Times: More restrictions needed on payday loans (July 26, 2016)

154.  The payday lending industry preys on the economically fragile. Stiffer regulation of the industry is needed to protect the financially desperate who seek these services and often end up in a cycle of debt they cannot escape.  For years, Texas lawmakers have ignored the pleas for help from consumer advocates — forcing local communities to adopt their own rules and creating a patchwork of ordinances across the state. San Antonio Express-News: Rule change offers needed payday relief. (August 5, 2016).