CRL in the News
Many payday loan borrowers aren’t able to repay the loan when it’s due and roll it over into a new loan, incurring new fees. The CFPB found that nearly half of borrowers had more than 10 transactions in the 12-month period covered in a survey. The Center for Responsible Lending found that payday loan borrowers are more likely to become delinquent on other bills; delay medical care; and in the worst scenarios, file for bankruptcy.
Banks have long argued that overdrafts, which allow customers to draw accounts below zero for a fee, are a service that consumers value. Consumers groups counter that the vested interest banks have in encouraging account holders to overdraw has to be met with hard-and-fast rules limiting overdrafts and the cost of the service. “We want to see the bureau use its authority to really reform the way overdraft and checking account programs work,” said Rebecca Borne, a researcher with the Center for Responsible Lending.
“Nearly five years following the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, consumers are still calling for financial accountability,” said Mike Calhoun, CRL president. “Efforts to bring transparency and fairness to personal finance may have begun. But these new results signify that our work must continue. Every consumer is entitled to financial fairness.”
The first federal agency dedicated to serving the financial needs of consumers will be five years old on July 21. Created in the aftermath of the worst financial calamity since the 1930′s Great Depression, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was created through the enactment of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act.
Ninety-six percent of Democrats and 89 percent of Republicans regard financial regulation as important, according to the survey, which was conducted in June by Lake Research Partners and Chesapeake Beach Consulting on behalf of Americans for Financial Reform and the Center for Responsible Lending.
While economists contend that the economic recession is over, the reality for much of black America is starkly different. Racial disparities in unemployment and under-employment persist. And homeownership, a key measure of economic health for consumers and communities alike, continues its downward decline even now.
Payday lenders aren’t creating jobs with their predatory lending practices, and they aren’t driving economic growth, they are standing in the way. Small business owners, their employees, and their customers would fare better with sound protections from payday lenders.
Installment lenders offer annual percentage rates that range from 36% to 100% or perhaps higher. Payday loans typically have APRs of 350% or more. "Installment loans are a much safer structure," said Martin Eakes, the co-founder and chief executive of Self-Help Credit Union and the Center for Responsible Lending, who has fought battles with payday lenders in Arizona, Colorado, North Carolina, Ohio and Washington.
The proposed rule “must be strengthened, must be significantly strengthened. The CFPB has the right approach on the ability to repay. And it must close the loopholes. It would help millions of Americans if the CFPB closes the loopholes,” said Keith Corbett, executive vice president of the Center for Responsible Lending, during a June 14 conference call with journalists on payday lending issues.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s proposed rule requiring payday and car title lenders to assess borrowers’ ability to repay will, by all projections, reduce the number of these loans being made. The question often comes up: What will those consumers who might have taken out a payday or car title loan do instead?