Payday Reform News: August 27-Sep 2


August 30, Arizona Capitol Times: Stop triple-digit interest rates for good
This opinion piece from Diane Brown and Kelly Griffith recount Arizona’s 2008 ballot measure defeating the payday industry’s attempt to keep triple-digit interest rates legal in Arizona. It mentions PIRG’s August report showing 91% of consumer complaints on payday to the CFPB show evidence of the unaffordability of the loans. It says the CFPB should close the six-loan exemption and other loopholes in an otherwise strong payday lending proposed rule.
More Coverage:
WNPR: Report: Predatory Loan Companies Evade State Rules
Public News Service: New Report Highlights Abuses in Payday, Car-Title Loans
Arizona Public Media: Consumer Group: More Protections From Payday-Style Lenders Needed
KTVZ: Payday loan critics urge new rules to curb abuses
WCSM: Report Renews Calls for Stricter Payday-Lending Rules Payday loan practices improving, but many consumers still subjected to predatory practices
Casa Grand Dispatch: Stop triple-digit interest rates Opinion: Say ‘no’ to triple-digit interest rate loans

September 2, NEWSOK: Oklahoma faith leaders, other advocacy groups call for payday lending reform
This article about faith leaders gathering in Oklahoma to call for payday lending reform begins with a borrower story – a teacher’s union president and single mother who said payday loans made her money problems worse. The article states that payday lending costs Oklahomans $52 million in fees and that the average annual interest rate is 391 percent. Advocates support the CFPB rules but said the state does not have to wait for them.
More Coverage:
The City Sentinal: Local groups call for action on payday lending at Sept. 1 press conference
Tulsa World: Faith leaders, other advocacy groups call for payday lending reform

Reposts: Tulsa Public Radio | San Francisco Chronicle | News Tribune | KRMG | The State | News & Observer | FOX Business | Yahoo Finance | Washington Times

Partner Blog & Press Releases

August 30, US PIRG: Report: Analysis of Payday Complaints Reveals Need for Stronger Federal Protections
This news release outlines findings from a US PIRG analysis of complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau demonstrating the unaffordability of payday loans. 91% of explanations show evidence of unaffordability. The release calls for eliminating loopholes in the CFPB’s proposed payday lending rules and encourages public comments.
Report: Analysis of Payday Complaints Reveals Need for Stronger Federal Protections

August 30, Progress Illinois: Illinois Consumer Advocates Seek Stronger Rules Against Payday Lending
This article outlines findings from an Illinois PIRG Education Fund analysis of complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau demonstrating the unaffordability of payday loans. 91% of explanations show evidence of unaffordability. PIRG representatives state the importance of a strong ability-to-repay rule on payday lending with no exceptions.

August 30, Citizen Vox: Predatory lenders plot to sabotage new CFPB rules
This article recaps the story in Vice about the payday lenders’ conference in which they brainstormed ways to circumvent restrictions on payday lending and ways to sabotage the new rules (by getting borrowers to write comment cards before getting loans). The writer takes the position that Big Business is winning by slowing down such rulemaking and encourages readers to comment on the payday lending rules.

Top Stories

September 2, (Plain Dealer): Clamp down on payday lending greed and make it stick in Ohio: editorial
This opinion piece from the editorial board talks about the struggle to control payday lending in Ohio in spite of a ballot measure win in 2008. It supports the CFPB rule but says it’s not a substitute for a strong state law, and describes how payday lenders found a loophole around the ballot measure to again charge triple-digit interest rates.

September 2, Payday Lenders: Heroes or Villains?
This video features a debate between Thaya Brook Knight of the Cato Institute and Joe Valenti of the Center for American Progress on whether payday loans are predatory or a valuable tool for cash-strapped borrowers.

September 1, Hartford Courant: State Legislators Urge Feds to Adopt Payday Lending Regulations
This article reports the call of a group of Connecticut state legislators for strong federal payday lending rules in an August 9 letter. Two dozen legislators said the rule should strongly enforce the ability to repay standard. Although Connecticut has a 12 percent usury cap, it has had trouble enforcing it with online and out-of-state lenders.

September 1, Las Vegas Journal: Seniors often pay hefty price for relying on payday loans
This article describes the debt trap of payday lending and its impact on seniors and people of color. It recommends visiting the Center for Responsible Lending website and sending a comment to the CFPB.

August 31, Baptist Press: Payday loan rule flawed, say ERLC, others
The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention is asking the CFPB to strengthen its payday lending rules. The article outlines the problems with payday lending and holds up the six-loan exemption from ability-to-repay requirement as a major flaw in the CFPB’s proposed payday lending rules.

August 30, Payday loan regulations under review
In this post, two law professors explain what the rulemaking process is for a federal agency and encourage readers to read the payday lending proposed rules and file their own comments.

August 30, Money.Mic: South Dakota’s two payday loan ballot measures look similar but have a crucial difference
This article recaps the Governing article on South Dakota’s two competing ballot measures, one by advocates who want to cap annual interest rates on payday loans at 36%, and one by the industry which wants an 18% cap unless borrowers agree to higher – essentially no cap at all. The article seems sympathetic to consumers.

August 29, Temple Daily Telegram: Payday loan film screenings provided
This article promotes screenings of the film “The Ordinance,” which is a documentary that features the faith-based fight for payday lending reform in Temple, Texas. The article outlines the problems with payday lending and flags the CFPB rules and comment period deadlines.
More Coverage:
Temple Daily Telegram: Documentary details efforts to regulate payday lenders

August 28, Voice & Viewpoint: Ninety Million Consumers Save $2.2 Billion Each Year without Triple-digit Interest Loans
This column by Charlene Crowell of CRL shares the release of CRL’s research “Shark-Free Waters,” finding that consumers in states without triple-digit interest payday lending save $2.2 billion per year. The column points out that while CRL’s previous research documents the harm that payday lending does to borrowers, this project focuses on the benefits for consumers who live in payday-free states.

August 27, Las Vegas Review Journal: Payday loan reforms brewing
This opinion piece seems supportive of coming legislation from a Republican in Nevada that would institute a 45-day waiting period between payday loans and provide a way for teachers and veterans to access emergency funds. The article mentions the CFPB rule and states that the legislator thinks Nevada needs its own action as well.

August 26, Lexology: Department of Defense Issues New Guidance on Military Lending Act Regulations
This article reports that the DOD issued guidance clarifying the Military Lending Act. The main clarifications are: “Payments by check and electronic fund transfer are permitted”; “A general description of the borrower’s payment obligation is sufficient when providing oral disclosures”; and “Creditors need not generate special credit agreements for covered borrowers. A uniform agreement with a savings clause is permitted.”

August 29, Courthouse News Service: Crooked Arbitrator is No Shield for Payday Lender
This article tells the story of a class action suit filed by a woman saddled by payday loans, who was forced into arbitration. However the arbitrator had gone defunct. A court ruling said that freed her from the arbitration and her suit could go forward. Since one of the banks involved was Florida-based, the case could have future implications for Debbie Wasserman-Shulz, who has been criticized for supporting payday lending.

August 31, Nonprofit Quarterly: 3 Things Foundations Can Do About Predatory Lending
This article reviews how foundations have supported the cause of fighting predatory lending over the years and how they can support the fight now, by submitting comments to the CFPB asking for strong payday lending reform, asking their grantees to submit comments, and investing in continued financial reform.