/U.S. consumer watchdog revisits scaling back payday lending rules

U.S. consumer watchdog revisits scaling back payday lending rules


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. consumer watchdog on Wednesday proposed reviewing a rule cracking down on payday lenders, a transfer consumer advocates and a few lawmakers blasted as an extra signal the Trump administration goes straightforward on predatory lenders.

FILE PHOTO: The storefront of an Advance America mortgage retailer is proven in Palm Springs, California, U.S. June 2, 2016. REUTERS/Sam Mircovich/File Photo

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is revisiting the payday lending rule, drawn up underneath the Obama administration, after payday lenders complained its “ability-to-repay” requirement would damage the business and shoppers.

The proposal to repeal the ability-to-repay provision, which was due to enter impact in August, is the primary massive transfer by director Kathy Kraninger, a former Office of Management and Budget official who took over as CFPB director in December.

“The Bureau will evaluate the comments, weigh the evidence, and then make its decision,” mentioned Kraninger, who added that she anticipates working with state and federal regulators to implement the regulation towards dangerous actors.

Payday loans are small and quick time period, usually due with a borrower’s subsequent paycheck. Lenders argue they supply debtors with important stopgap funding, and warned the rule would successfully eradicate a product that may be a monetary lifeline for a lot of who lack entry to extra conventional banking merchandise.

But consumer advocates have lengthy criticized the loans for saddling debtors with annualized rates of interest that always attain a number of hundred %.

“Eliminating these common sense protections will result in millions of hardworking families trapped in a cycle of debt and poverty,” mentioned U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, the highest Democratic member on the Senate Banking panel.

“Stripping the key protections of this rule is a disservice to the public. With little accountability for their actions, payday lenders have long preyed upon communities of color and drained them of their hard-earned savings,” mentioned Hilary O. Shelton, a senior vp with the NAACP Washington Bureau.

The provision, conceived by Obama-era CFPB director Richard Cordray, requires payday lenders to find out that the consumer has the means to repay the mortgage in addition to meet different dwelling bills, when it comes due usually inside 30 days.

The bureau first mentioned it deliberate to revisit the rule in October 2018 underneath then-interim director and White House price range chief Mick Mulvaney. He had mentioned the rule would damage the business and deprive shoppers of important stop-gap funding.

The CFPB was created within the wake of the 2007-09 world monetary disaster to crack down on predatory lenders. Mulvaney and his fellow Republicans have lengthy criticized the company, saying it drastically overstepped its mandate underneath Cordray.

“Implementing this ability-to-repay provision was not a mandate by Congress, but an exercise of the agency’s discretionary jurisdiction. We are revisiting it to be certain that the legal basis is robust enough to continue to support the rule,” an company official informed reporters on Wednesday.

The CFPB, which labored on the rule for 5 years, estimated it could decrease the business’s income by two-thirds.

In a separate proposal, the company mentioned it was searching for business remark to delay the implementation of the ability-to-repay provision by three months to Nov. 19, 2019.

This proposal, if adopted after 30 days, would enable the company extra time to re-consider the underwriting provision earlier than mandating payday lending companies to adjust to it.

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It doesn’t hinder its potential to implement different parts of the payday lending rule, CFPB officers informed reporters.

“We are pleased that the CFPB is going to delay the payday rule for further consideration,” mentioned Dan Berger, who leads the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions.

“We support the removal of problematic ability to repay portions of the rule, but we also want to ensure, that going forward, the egregious practices of certain payday lenders are addressed.”

Reporting by Katanga Johnson; enhancing by Michelle Price, Chizu Nomiyama, Jeffrey Benkoe and David Gregorio

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.



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