Payday Lending News

The latest news on payday loans and the payday lending industry from the Center for Responsible Lending.

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  • Chattanooga Payday Lender Forced to Shut Down Websites 
    Chattanooga Times Free Press (TN)  16 Aug 2013
    Chattanooga lender and philanthropist Carey V. Brown shut down his payday loan websites after correspondence from New York regulators called on banks to cut access for what it called "illegal lenders."
  • Senate Dems Ask DOD to Protect Service Members From Predatory Lenders 
    The Hill  15 Aug 2013
    A group of Senate Democrats have petitioned Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel asking him to close a loophole in lending protections that they said leaves service members susceptible to abuse under certain kinds of loans.
  • Houston Must Rein in Predatory Loans 
    Houston Chronicle  15 Aug 2013
    Democratic state Sens. Rodney Ellis, Sylvia Garcia, and John Whitmire have proposed that Houston become the next Texas city to implement payday and auto title ordinances. Adding Houston to the eight cities that already restrict the short-term lending industry could encourage a push for statewide reform of the sector.
  • Two Banks' Payday-Advance Lending Draws Scrutiny 
    Orlando Sentinel (FL)  14 Aug 2013
    Regions Bank and Fifth Third Bank, two of Florida's largest banks, are drawing criticism from consumer groups after entering the payday-advance business. Like just a few others in the United States, they now offer a type of short-term, high-cost loan that is commonly associated with payday lending. Critics say these loans' steep interest and fees can draw consumers into a dangerous "debt trap."
  • Both Sides in Payday Loan Debate Start Petitions 
    Springfield News-Leader (Missouri)  14 Aug 2013
    Critics and proponents of payday lending in Missouri will see a contentious 18 months as each side attempts to put constitutional amendments on the ballot.
  • New York AG Sues Online Payday Lenders 
    American Banker 13 Aug 2013
    New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed suit Aug. 12 against a trio of online lenders and their owners, which he claims violated usury laws by issuing loans bearing annual interest rates of as much as 335 percent.
  • Indian Tribes Oppose New York Order on Online Lenders 
    Wall Street Journal  12 Aug 2013
    Benjamin M. Lawsky, superintendent of New York's Department of Financial Services, has launched an effort to shut down tribal lenders' online operations, but Indian tribes argue that the state lacks authority to do so.
  • 139 Percent Interest Rate?! Crushing Quick-Loan Rates Turn $2,500 Debt to Nearly $14K 
    Detroit Free Press  12 Aug 2013
    Many online lenders advertise fast cash that promises to solve consumers' problems but usually creates new ones instead. One example is Patricia Guy, who will have to pay $11,412.12 in interest over four years for a $2,525 loan from online lender Western Sky.
  • How One State Succeeded in Restricting Payday Loans 
    ProPublica 06 Aug 2013
    Washington state legislators in 2009 passed a law blocking borrowers from taking out more than eight payday loans in a single year, and that statute has served as a model for Delaware and other states.
  • Rules Grow, But Profits for Payday Lenders Soar 
    Toledo Blade 06 Aug 2013
    Although Ohio lawmakers abolished high-cost loans in 2008, many payday loan stores still operate in the state -- some charging annual percentage rates (APRs) up to 700 percent. Lenders often exploit loopholes in the law, or react to laws against one type of loan by offering "second generation" products that still feature triple-digit APRs.
  • New York Scrutinizes Online Lenders 
    Wall Street Journal 06 Aug 2013
    Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent of the New York Department of Financial Services, has issued 35 cease-and-desist orders to online firms that he believes might be dodging state laws prohibiting lenders from charging egregious interest rates.
  • Check ‘n Go Refunds to Be Mailed This Week 
    San Francisco Chronicle 05 Aug 2013
    More than 2,000 Californians will receive checks from payday lender Check ‘n Go after San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera sued the company in 2007 for loaning money at unlawful interest rates.
  • State Needs More Regulation of Payday Loans 
    Iowa City Press-Citizen  03 Aug 2013
    More cities in Iowa are using zoning authority to restrict payday loan businesses within their borders, but such efforts have only limited effect on the industry without statewide legislation. Iowa City's ordinance, which confines delayed-deposit service businesses to community commercial zones, effectively stopped new payday loan businesses from opening; but it does not affect the businesses that are already up and running.
  • Opponents Say Bill Opens Up Door for Payday Lenders 
    Log Cabin Democrat (Arkansas) 23 Mar 2013
    Arkansas has been free of payday lenders for nearly four years, after its Supreme Court declared that their triple-digit annual interest rates for short-term loans violated a state law against usury. Now, however, critics of the industry are worried that a new proposal in the Legislature will allow payday lenders to creep back into Arkansas...
  • Lawmakers File Bills on Payday Lending 
    Denton Record-Chronicle (TX) 21 Mar 2013
    Texas Sen. John Corona (R-Dallas) recently introduced Senate Bill 1247 in an attempt to change the way payday lenders operate and how cities can control them. Some say, however, that it is not enough to curtail the problem...
  • Dimon Pledges to Change JPMorgan’s Practices on Payday Loans 
    New York Times  27 Feb 2013
    Calling the practice "terrible," JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon has pledged to revamp how the bank addresses automatic account withdrawals made by Internet-based payday lenders. JPMorgan Chase does not make the loans directly but does enable online payday lenders to deduct payments from customers’ checking accounts, even in the 15 states that prohibit such loans. Sometimes these withdrawals continue even after customers have asked banks to prevent it. More payday lenders are operating online in order to avoid state-based limits on interest rates. Lawmakers also are addressing the issue. In July, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) introduced a bill that would force payday lenders to follow the laws of states where the borrower is located. Part of the bill, pending in Congress, would allow borrowers to more easily halt automatic withdrawals. A new report by the Pew Charitable Trusts, meanwhile, finds that an estimated 27 percent of payday loan borrowers say the loans caused them to overdraw their accounts.
  • U.S. Consumer Watchdog Meeting With States on Offshore Lenders 
    Reuters 26 Feb 2013
    U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) director Richard Cordray said Feb. 26 that his agency is working with state authorities to rein in payday lenders that are located outside the United States and operating over the Web. Consumer advocates say some lenders are moving online to avoid the rules in states that are tougher on payday loan firms. Cordray said during a conference of the National Association of Attorneys General that the CFPB wants to ensure that individuals can obtain emergency cash without being cornered by loans with exorbitant fees that must be repaid quickly. "We also recognize that effective enforcement of the law can be challenging when it comes to lenders that lack a physical presence," said Cordray. "Our enforcement teams have met with some of your offices in multi-state meetings to consider how best to coordinate our efforts on loans that involve offshore or other jurisdictional issues."
  • Ferri Again Seeks to Eliminate High Interest for Payday Borrowers 
    Warwick Beacon (RI) 05 Feb 2013
    Rhode Island Rep. Frank Ferri (D-Warwick), for the second time in less than a year, has drafted legislation that would strike language from the state’s usury law that lets payday lenders impose triple-digit interest rates. His proposal would not abolish payday loans but would subject them to the same usury laws as other lenders. Ferri hopes to lower Rhode Island’s average interest rate from 260 percent to 36 percent or lower. The usury cap historically has been at 36 percent, preventing a payday loan debt trap, but legislation in 2001 exempted these lenders. The Center for Responsible Lending reports that 17 states and Washington, D.C., have similar caps on interest rates. Ferri submitted the bill in early January; he expects it to go before the House sometime this month. Fifty-one other representatives signed on as co-sponsors. Ferri introduced a similar bill in 2012, but it never came to the floor.
  • Demand for High-Interest Payday Loans Soars in Minnesota (MN) 28 Jan 2013
    A growing number of Minnesotans are using high-interest payday loans and other nontraditional financial services, according to statistics. Demand for payday loans doubled from 170,000 loans in 2007 to 350,000 -- the highest ever reported to the state Department of Commerce -- last year. Borrowers in 2011 paid fees and interest equivalent to average annual interest rates of 237 percent, according to the Minnesota Department of Commerce, with some loans reaching as high as 1,368 percent. While short-term lenders say their services are to be used only in emergencies, critics argue that the lenders' business model hinges on consumers taking out habitual loans, multiple times a year. Out of the 11,500 Minnesotans who used short-term loans last year, nearly a quarter took out 15 or more loans. Many fast-cash lenders in the state are not licensed as a payday lender. Instead, they are licensed as Industrial Loan and Thrift operations, which allows them to offer bigger loans at higher rates. In 1995, the state Legislature tried to minimize payday lending in the state by creating the Consumer Small Loan Lender Act, which capped the maximum amount of an individual loan at $350. That cap does not apply to businesses operating as Industrial Loan and Thrifts. Over the years, several lawmakers have introduced bills seeking to close the loophole, but none have been successful. Meanwhile, consumer advocates are concerned that payday lending practices are hurting borrowers -- including minority and low-income consumers -- and prolonging their dependence on quick, expensive cash.
  • Lawmakers Push Payday Lender Bill 
    Wall Street Journal 19 Jul 2012
    House lawmakers are pushing new legislation that would allow nonbank lenders, including payday lenders, to choose to operate under a federal charter instead of following different state laws. Backers of the measure say it would help consumers who are unable to obtain affordable credit from traditional sources. Introduced by Reps. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) and Joe Baca (D-Calif.), the bill would allow the payday loan industry to circumvent rules enforced by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Instead, nonbank lenders that received a federal charter would be under the supervision of the Comptroller of the Currency. However, the proposal would prohibit loan periods of less than one month; and firms could not make loans that they do not believe consumers can pay back. But consumer advocates say the law would not ban predatory lenders from charging excessive fees and other unscrupulous practices. The legislation would actually block regulators from capping the interest rate or fees that nonbank lenders could charge for loans made under the federal charter, allowing predatory lenders to evade state usury laws.
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