Stop the Debt Trap Update – Dec. 12


Last week, a rare occasion presented itself and I joined AFR and consumer advocates from 8 other states (AL, AZ, MD, NC, NJ, NY, OH, TX, and VA) in meeting with the CFPB Director, Richard Cordray, and 20+ Bureau staff members. Our discussion primarily focused on the highly-anticipated CFPB payday loan rule. As we state advocates know all-too-well, there is a real human cost to short term loans carrying triple-digit interest rates. Though, the landscape in states is not homogeneous. Some states have outright banned payday loans or passed interest rate caps and, rightly, those advocates shared their concerns for any rule that allows lenders a way back in. Other states (36 states, to be exact, including AL) remain engulfed by predatory lending storefronts, unable to overcome industry influence over our statehouses. The Bureau staff listened intently and respectfully as we explained the “whack-a-mole” concerns of regulating an industry that is more than adept at exploiting loopholes.

We hope our voices have made a difference and that the CFPB will put forth the strongest rule to reign in predatory lenders.


Kansas First News: Help in a pinch, or preying on the poor
Falling behind on bills, or running low on money, can be one of the most stressful moments in a person’s life. For some, when times get tough they seek the help of payday lenders that promise on thing, quick cash right when you need it…

Bloomberg: Behind 700% Loans, Profits Flow Through Red Rock to Wall Street
Joshua Wrenn needed money to make the January payment for his Jeep Cherokee. The truck driver and aspiring country singer in Madison, North Carolina, got $800 within minutes from a website he found on his phone. When he called to check his balance a few weeks later, he was told he had electronically signed a contract to pay back $3,920…


Sarah Ludwig, New Economy Project – New York (AUDIO)
“We are positive if the CFPB puts out a weak rule that allows for some form of Payday Lending… our usury law will be jeopardized directly”

Dana Wiggins, Virginia Poverty Law Center (AUDIO)
“I have a current client who is homeless because they were trying to cover their car title…Now they don’t even have a car to sleep in.”

Liz Coyle, Georgia Watch (AUDIO)
“What we know is that if there are any opportunities for the bad actors to find a loophole, they will find a way.”