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Consumer, Civil Rights Advocates Warn CFPB About Harm of Delaying the Payday Rule in Official Comment Letter

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

If consumer bureau delays payday rule, it would “inflict profound financial and psychological harm on consumers, particularly communities of color and those on a fixed income”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, several national consumer and civil rights groups released their official comment letter, linked here, to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on its new leadership’s proposed delay of a 2017 rule the agency had issued to stop payday and car title loans from trapping consumers in debt. The letter rebuts the CFPB’s rationale for proposing a 15-month delay of the payday rule, which the agency is now also moving to gut by removing the common sense requirement that lenders generally verify that borrowers can repay a loan.

The organizations joining their voices in opposition to this immensely harmful action are Center for Responsible Lending, Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund, Consumer Federation of America, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), NAACP, National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders, National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (National CAPACD), National Consumer Law Center (on behalf of its low income clients), UnidosUS, and U.S. PIRG.

The letter to CFPB Director Kraninger states, in part, that:

Delaying the Ability-to-Repay rule will clearly cost consumers billions of dollars in financial harm, lead to the loss of hundreds of thousands of cars on which families depend, and impose emotional, psychological, and physical harm resulting from the debt trap caused by unaffordable payday and vehicle title loans. The Bureau has unjustifiably disregarded those harms, while failing to justify a delay. Reconsideration of the rule is not an adequate basis for delay, and in any event, the Bureau offers no compelling basis for repeal. The Bureau also fails to point to any real ‘unanticipated’ ‘obstacles’ that would justify delay. We urge the Bureau to return to its statutory mandate to protect consumers and to permit this critical Ability-to-Repay rule to go into effect on August 19, 2019.

For more information, or to arrange an interview with a CRL spokesperson on this issue, please contact Matthew Kravitz at matthew.kravitz@responsiblelending.org