The Battle of Kansas City has been won!


Last week, at a Kansas City field hearing, the CFPB released their proposed rule on payday, car title and installment lending.  

Years of hard work paid off as the damage of payday lending, the long fought local efforts to stop abusive lending practices, and the need for a strong rule that will truly Stop The Debt Trap were the stories that carried the day.

Here are some highlights!

Kansas City was Ground Zero
Follow the action from the day in our Storify! 

Outside the hearing hundreds of people from Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, and around the country held  not just one but 3 actions in Kansas City last week (livestream here and pictured at right).  Grassroots and faith leaders – and some local lawmakers –  led  crowds of up to 300 people in calls, chants and prayers for an end to the cycle of debt that has plagued their communities for too long.

  Inside the hearing we went toe-to-toe with payday industry employees and lobbyists. Stop the Debt Trap advocates, social service providers, faith leaders, civil rights leaders, and borrowers spoke up to tell their stories and remind the CFPB of the devastating harm caused by payday lenders. They made it clear payday lending has a debt trap business model, and that the CFPB’s proposed rule is an important step but  needs to be strengthened to realize the promise of protecting our neighborhoods and our families. Gynnie Robnett, of AFR, delivered 50,000 petitions on behalf of Daily KOS for a strong rule (pictured at left).

“What the CFPB is proposing today is a very strong step in the right direction,” said Wade Henderson, President of the Leadership Conference for Civil and Human Rights and a panelist at the hearing. “Lenders should ensure that borrowers not simply have enough money to repay their loans – but to ensure that borrowers can repay loans, on time, without being left in an even worse financial position.”

While the industry had a slew of storefront employees speak at the hearing, Kansas City press covered voices from among actual consumers and consumer, civil rights, and faith groups in the Kansas City StarFOX 4, the National Catholic Reporter, and KMBC. After the hearing, Groups protested in front of a local payday storefront (pictured at right).

 Advocates around the country in the Media
#StopTheDebtTrap allies and partners were quoted all over the press in  response to the rule, starting with NPR and USA Today early in the morning. The New York TimesBaltimore Sun, LA Times, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and Herald Dispatch were among newspapers issuing editorials calling for a strong rule.

State groups participating in the day of action  around the country got a lot of press too, including in AlabamaCalifornia, Florida, IndianaIowa, MichiganMontanaNebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, TennesseeTexas, Virginia, and Wisconsin

Elected Officials Endorsed the Rule
A number of elected officials took to their websites and social media to laud the rule, and often echoed the position of advocates. Among the first were Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH).  

In Florida, after months of pressure Representatives Patrick Murphy and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz reversed their opposition to the CFPB rule making, and came out in support.

  • Full list of Elected officials supportive statements here 

But this is not the end of the fight, it’s another beginning.

With this tremendous step, the CFPB has opened up an opportunity for thousands of leaders, stakeholders and everyday people to take hold of our future through public comments to make the proposed rule what we need – a rule that shuts down the debt trap.

The summer comment period starts now!  Make your voice heard.