Payday News, week of April 15, 2016

April 14, 2016
The White House Blog
A Moral Case for Putting a Stop to Payday Lending Abuses
What emerged was a common, powerful theme: that we have a moral obligation as a country to do something to stop payday lenders from preying on consumers by trapping them in an endless cycle of debt.
More coverage:
The Wall Street Journal | White House, Faith Groups Push Payday Lending Rule
The Gazette | White House, faith leaders say ‘moral obligation’ to halt payday loans
Desert News | White House sees ‘moral obligation’ to halt payday loans | Payday loan limits urged by religious coalition
Sojourners | White House Joins Faith Leaders in Call to Rein in Payday Lenders

April 13, 2016
Survey: 9-in-10 Christian Consumers Think Payday Loans Hurt Borrowers
A new report [PDF] from LifeWay Research and Faith for Just Lending found that payday loans are widely viewed in a negative light by Christians in the 30 states that allow these high-cost lines of credit.
More coverage:
Christian Post | 77% Christians think Predatory Lending is Sinful, Survey Finds
Baptist News Global | Faith coalition cites survey condemning payday lending practices
Religion News Service | Christians oppose payday loans as ‘sinful’
Christianity Today | Christians Say Predatory Payday Loans Are Sinful
Christian Daily | Payday loans are ‘sinful,’ say most Christians, according to poll
Christian Post | Christians Take Aim at Predatory Lending
Baptist Standard | Christians see predatory lending as sinful
Adweek (PR Newser Blog) | Payday Loans Get Another Enemy: God
Sojourners | Majority of Christians Oppose Payday Lenders as ‘Sinful’
Financial Advisor | Christian Coalition Says Regulating Payday Lenders A Moral Imperative | Survey: Christians call ‘payday loans’ sinful

April 12, 2016
The Hill
Understanding the SAFE Act
Stopping Abuse and Fraud in Electronic Lending (SAFE) Act would make it easier to uphold the interest-rate caps and other measures taken by the states. Merkley’s bill would also bolster the effectiveness of the Consumer Bureau’s efforts to require payday-style consumer lenders to do what other lenders do: verify a borrower’s ability to repay before a loan can be issued.
More coverage:
Lexology | Senate Legislation to Regulate Small-Dollar Loans and Prepaid Cards
American Banker | Democrats Push Payday Lending Bill to Tackle What CFPB Can’t

Partner blogs, posts & press releases: (please forward these along in the future)

April 11, 2016
Stop the Debt Trap
The Pit of Despair in Atlanta
The Pit of Despair, an installation of the payday lending debt trap, stopped in Atlanta, Georgia.April 11, 2016

Allied Progress
#DebtTrapDebbie Struggles Under Tough Questioning Over Support for Payday Lenders
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) struggled under tough questioning about her support for the predatory payday lending industry on the April 10, 2016 broadcast of CBS Miami’s Facing South Florida with Jim DeFede. TAKE ACTION

Other Top Stories:

April 13, 2016
The Arizona Republic
Valdez: Why pastors oppose predatory lending
SB 1316 is awaiting a final vote in the senate. It is a blatant attempt to restore the kind of high-interest loans Arizona voters outlawed in 2008. The difference between the payday loans we outlawed and these new so-called flex loans is “basically semantics,” says Whitney A. Barkley-Denney of the Center for Responsible Lending.

April 13, 2016
Sun Sentinel
Florida is no model for payday lenders
Bishop claimed Florida regulations preserve access to credit for low-income borrowers, but in reality, the regulations ensure massive profits at the expense of those who can least afford it.

April 12, 2016
Frost Illustrated
Payday lending abomination in plain sight, says Baptist leader
“But, other abuses continue to run rampant,” continued the Rev. Gable. “Some may be more obscure than mortgage lending, but they are ever powerful, ever destructive… Payday lending is an abomination in plain sight. A debt trap by design.”

April 11, 2016
Consumer Affairs
Consumer advocates defend federal agency
Last week a Congressional hearing questioned the CFPB’s independence, prompting officials of the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) to speak up for the agency. In their rebuttal, they said CFPB is both independent and accountable and has protected consumers from abusive practices.

April 9, 2016
Argus Leader
S.D. ELCA takes pass on payday lender fight
In South Dakota, where voters this year will decide on a ballot measure that caps interest rates on short-term loans at 36 percent, the ELCA is sitting on the sidelines.

April 9, 2016
Blog for Iowa
TAKE ACTION: Payday Lenders At It Again‏
Payday lenders are trying to sneak a bill through at the last minute of the legislative session. It sounds like an affordable lending option, but upon closer inspection is anything but.

April 8, 2016
The National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU)
Cordray affirms CUs’ small loans, defends exemption stance
CFPB views credit unions’ payday alternative loans as a “good product” and wants to make room for those loans in its payday lending rulemaking, CFPB Director Richard Cordray told the Senate Banking Committee Thursday as he delivered his semiannual report to the panel.

April 7, 2016
The Wall Street Journal
Consumer Watchdog Chief Sees Role for Fintech in Payday Lending
The head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said Thursday that financial technology companies could play a role in making small-dollar loans to consumers after the agency introduces what will be the first federal rule governing the payday-loan industry.

April 15, 2016
The Washington Post
Prevent a shark attack by avoiding payday loans
“Payday consumers can get trapped in debt when they can’t afford to pay back their initial loan,” said Jen Howard, communications director for the CFPB.
Reprint: The Boston Globe

April 14, 2016
Longview News-Journal
Longview meeting to offer payday loan alternatives
Community leaders are hosting a one-hour meeting Tuesday in downtown Longview for people seeking alternatives to payday loans.

April 14, 2016
Mainline Media News
Villanova resident, 2 others charged in ‘Pay Day’ lending scheme
Charles M. Hallinan, 75, of Villanova and Wheeler K. Neff, 67, of Wilmington, Del., were charged by indictment with two counts of conspiracy to violate racketeering crimes, often referred to as RICO laws. They were also charged with nine counts of international money laundering.

April 14, 2016
The News & Observer
Payday Loans: Worst abuse is not regulated
At the federal level, payday lending is subject to regulation under a number of laws but none of the federal laws set maximum rates.

April 13, 2016
FTC Refunds Consumers $596,000 for Phantom Payday Loan Scheme
The Federal Trade Commission is sending out over 1,700 checks totaling $596,000 to consumers who were victims of a phantom payday loan scheme last year.

April 12, 2016
Bloomberg Technology
Indicted Payday-Loan Pioneer Has Fingers in Fintech Companies
Some of the companies now viewed as the future of finance have less savory roots in payday lending, subprime mortgages or high-pressure telephone sales.

April 12, 2016
The News & Observer
Ex-tribal partner charged in online lending kickback scheme
A grand jury has charged a former business partner of Montana’s Chippewa Cree Tribe with conspiring with tribal officials to skim millions of dollars from the Rocky Boy Indian Reservation’s successful online payday lending company.

April 11, 2016
South Bend Tribune
College student program opposes payday lending
Amber Werner of Bridges out of Poverty said she is glad to connect those in need to JIFFI. “It’s a fine opportunity for people in South Bend to break the cycle of living with payday loans and to learn and understand the importance of credit,” Werner said.

April 11, 2016
Tucaloosa News
EDITORIAL: It’s time to limit payday lenders
Orr’s bill will still allow payday lenders to make plenty of money. But it will help, at least, slow the cycle of debt, where loans are rolled over, new fees are racked up and interest builds.