Tag Archive | Loan

Revamped Payday Loan Regulations under review

As the 2016 summer weather has continued to heat up so, too, has the drama surrounding payday loans, car title loans and other types of alternative financial services. From the most popular news websites to popular talk shows, payday loans are being discussed quite a bit. Why so much attention right now? Because in June the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) officially published its proposed rule to regulate payday loans, title loans and other types of alternative loans. The CFPB has even asked the public for feedback on the proposed rule.Banks Being Scrutinized By Regulators for Payday-Like Loans

Financial experts have even been tasked with looking the rule over and letting the public know what they think about it. Though payday loans have been a hot topic, financial experts have repeatedly stressed that the general public still lacks a fundamental understanding of payday loans, and the alternative financial services industry in general. Being as most media pieces on payday lending rules seem to be centered on the CFPB, it is easy to understand why some people tune out when they hear this topic being addressed. Understanding the new rule, what the CFPB is trying to do and how the payday lending industry could be affected by the rule are all things that American consumers should pay closer attention to.

The CFPB is officially recognized as an ‘administrative agency. What the heck does that mean? Essentially, an administrative agency is a lawmaking organization that specializes in a particular area. For example, the Environmental Protection Agency is one such agency that makes laws related to the environment, and the IRS (boo!) is the best known administrative agency related to revenue processing. The CFPB is a relatively new administrative agency. It was created as part of Dodd-Frank back in 2010. The Bureau was given the power to make laws related to consumer financial issues. It does this by creating rules. Once those rules get finalized they become federal law. The public is being given the opportunity to review the rules the CFPB creates, and we can also comment on any proposed rules. The official name of the newest rule is the “Payday, Vehicle Title and Certain High Cost Installment Loans” rule. It proposes to implement new consumer “protections” that the CFPB states will prevent consumers from getting into long term cycles of debt.

It is important for people to check out the rule and provide feedback. This is especially true for people who operate payday lending locations, work at them or enjoy having the ability to take out the types of loans that they want to. The proposed rule is currently available to look at on the CFPB’s website. Be warned, though, like other laws and federal rules, the new rule is very wordy and reading all of it could take a good chunk of time. Don’t let that dissuade you from at least giving it a look and deciding for yourself what you think about the proposed rule.

Going online for most folks may be more about checking out news sites and social media sites, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take a bit of time out of your day to check out important stuff, like this proposed new rule. A lot of opponents of the CFPB have accused the agency of running roughshod as of late. Looking at the new rule and then finding out what opponents of the rule believe will help you to be better informed about this important topic. Just because an administrative agency has the power to do something that does not necessarily mean that it should. Take a look for yourself and let the CFPB know what you think.

Are Payday Loans really the Debt Traps they are made out to be?

When you’re poor you don’t have the same kind of options that other folks have when it comes to borrowing money. As a matter of fact, there really aren’t many lending options that are currently available to lower income Americans. One type of lending that has been helpful to poorer people over the years may soon wind up going away forever. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has created new rules that may prevent poor people from getting access to short term lines of credit. And these rules were created because the CFPB says it wants to get rid of “debt traps” that are caused by the payday lending industry.

About Payday LoansBanks Being Scrutinized By Regulators for Payday-Like Loans

The payday lending industry really started to take off in the 90s. Most folks have seen the small storefront locations that these lenders use as their base of operations. The lenders provide small dollar loans (usually for just a few hundred dollars) to their customers. The customer pays back the loan in a week or two and is charged a flat rate fee that must be paid back in addition to the money borrowed. It is typical for payday lenders to charge about $15 for every $100 a person borrows. So, if someone takes out a $200 payday loan, they must pay the lender $230 after the two week loan term is up. Pretty easy to understand, right?

The CFPB doesn’t think that process is very simple or easy to understand. In fact, they seem to believe that American consumers are so dumb that they couldn’t possibly understand and abide by those types of loan terms. That is why they have amped up their efforts to effectively eliminate the payday lending industry. They are looking to implement their proposed rules on a federal basis, so all the states have to fall in line with how the CFPB wants to regulate this industry.

One problem is, however, that individual states have already been doing a pretty good job of regulating the payday lending industry without eliminating the industry altogether. This doesn’t appear to be enough for the CFPB, though, as they have been pushing very hard to get their new rules implemented as soon as possible.

The New Rules

The CFPB wants to make lenders assess whether or not a borrower can pay back loans prior to the loan being made. They also want to make it more difficult for people to roll over old loans into new ones. If these rules become the law of the land, they will certainly shake up the payday lending industry. But that might not be a good thing after all.

We have to use critical thinking here to figure out why people take out payday loans. They do so because they need access to fast cash. Many of these people have low credit scores and/or very little access to traditional banking services. These folks have the same types of emergency expenses that everyone runs into from time to time. But without a lot of cash on hand or the ability to borrow from banks/credit card companies, they instead turn to payday lenders. The bottom line – people take out payday loans because they need to. They have no other avenues to pursue when they need emergency money. If the CFPB’s new rules drive thousands of lenders out of business we could potentially see millions of American households left with no option available to them at all when they need to take care of emergency expenses.

This is just another example of people/organizations saying they have someone’s best interest at heart, but really doing nothing more than making life more difficult for that person. Without payday lenders to turn to when hard financial times hit, poor people may wind up with nowhere else to turn than illegal (loan shark) lenders. That certainly isn’t the kind of outcome that anyone wants to see take place.

Federal Reserve Study on Online Lending is not Legit

They say that you can use studies and statistics to prove anything that you want; regardless of whether what you are trying to prove is even legitimate. Such is the case with a recent study that the Federal Reserve did with regards to consumer dissatisfaction with online lenders. According to this study only about 15 percent of small business borrowers reported being satisfied with online loans they were approved to get. Here’s the kicker – that statistic doesn’t even accurately reflect the data collected in this study. But people are now being hit with headlines about how much small business owners detest online lending. The thing is, though, that it’s just not true. And the study is pretty much bogus from all appearances.payday-online

The stat that we just mentioned is actually a representation of how many people were satisfied versus dissatisfied. You can check this out by looking at the study’s footnotes. So, the 15 percent is actually a net satisfaction metric that indicates more borrowers were satisfied with their experiences with online lenders than dissatisfied. If you do the math, this statistic actually shows that more than 50 of borrowers reported being satisfied. Banks did score higher than online lending companies in this report, but with as unscientific as this study was it is difficult to tell if that statistic is bogus or on the level.

An Unscientific Study by the Federal Reserve

The Federal Reserve puts a lot of interesting information in the footnotes and fine print of their study. If you cut through all of the confusing information, here is what it really says:

Businesses get contacted via email from organizations that serve the small business community in participating Federal Reserve Districts.

The data are not statistical representations of small businesses.

By its own admission, the authors at the Fed are very clearly stating that the data was not random – in other words the data is biased and not representative of real world statistics. The report even opens up by saying, “Our hope is that this report contributes to policymakers’ and service providers’ understanding of the business conditions, credit needs, and borrowing experiences of small business owners.”

We can now see that the metrics used in this study don’t mean anything in the real world. But they are still being cited continuously. A report that the US Treasury published a few months ago even makes a direct citation of the 15 percent satisfaction metric. It’s a standard case of bad information being created and published and then running amuck.

So what’s next? Now that this bogus study is being quoted and used all over the place, how do we get to the truth of the matter at hand? We are now at a point where critics and supporters of the online lending industry are even starting to buy into the bogus statistic about only 15 percent of small businesses being satisfied with online lending. This conclusion has never been reached by a legitimate study. No one is looking at the fine print from the Fed’s report. Hopefully, people within the industry will begin to look closer at these types of reports to see if what is being represented is truthful. When powerful agencies, like the Fed are able to get away with pushing what are essentially biased reports to the general public, it is easy to understand why so many people are up in arms about the online lending industry. If those folks would actually look at the facts, however, they’d find out that more small business owners are satisfied than dissatisfied with the online lending industry. It seems that is not the kind of true story, however, that the Fed wants the public to know about.

Payday Lending Limitations may leave Borrowers out in the cold

Canton, Ohio is a city that is very much a typical American town. There are about 73,000 people living in Canton. It is also known for being the home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and is known for having a thriving art scene in the downtown area. You may not know it, but Canton is also a city that serves as the nerve center of the payday lending industry. These smaller dollar loans allow people to borrow money for emergency expenses and to pay the lending company back a few weeks later. There are a lot of lenders in Canton, and a lot of people who regularly borrow money from these lenders.

Tanya Alazaus is the manager of a payday lending store in Canton. During a typical business day she sees a lot of regular customers and works hard to make sure that people get the financial services and products that they need to get by. Alazaus is a lot like any business manager or owner, and she works hard to make sure her customers get great service. It is her job. One that may be in danger if new payday lending limitations get put into place.unsecured-loans-can-be-easily-obtained-through-payday-lenders-direct-6516

Federal regulators are on a mission to crack down hard on businesses just like the one that Tanya manages. They consider payday lenders to be predatory and are coming up with new regulations that will likely lead to a serious decline in the overall volume of loans given each year. Additionally, the new payday lending regulations will probably force thousands of lending locations to close their doors for good.

The main agency that is working hard to over-regulate the payday lending industry is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This agency has drafted new rules for payday lenders that will lead to greater overhead costs associated with providing loans, and that will put a cap on how many loans people are allowed to take out over the course of the year. These two repercussions alone are likely going to spell disaster for small lending companies, like those that help to prop up the economy in Canton, Ohio.

Many lenders are worried about what will happen to their customers if they are unable to get payday loans in the future. Ms. Alazaus said, “My customers look forward to being able to walk in here for their short-term needs. They would rather use us than things like credit cards, and most don’t even have the ability to use those.”

Ohio is a state that has some of the highest per-capita payday lending usage in the country. It is a state with more payday lending locations than it has McDonald’s franchises. There are already at least 14 states that have banned payday lending altogether. Ohio may soon join theses states in restricting payday loans completely. Factor that in with the federal regulations that the CFPB has been proposing, and it is easy to see the writing on the wall.

No one from the regulatory side of the house, though, seems willing to admit that imposing strict regulations on payday lenders is really going to only punish lower income American consumers at the end of the day. These are the people who depend on payday loans the most, and many of them have no alternative lenders to turn to when they are in need of emergency cash. If states, like Ohio, restrict payday lending, consumers are sure to suffer and people are going to needlessly lose their jobs. Makes you wonder just who the CFPB and other groups against free market concepts are really trying to protect.

 

Payday Lending Restrictions will harm Lower Income American Households

It is no secret that the mainstream media and some government watchdog groups seem to loathe the payday lending industry. If you believed everything that got reported on this industry, you might think that there is no reason for it to be in existence. However, that would fly in the face of the fact that millions (some say 10 to 12 million) of people every year rely on payday loans. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently proposed some rules that they say will help to protect consumers from the potential pitfalls of payday loans. Opponents of payday lending have applauded these new rules, but the elephant in the room is the fact that the new rules may wind up hurting the very consumers that they were supposedly created to protect.Banks Are Offering Payday Loan Type Services

The CFPB has never come out and demanded that the payday lending industry go away completely. But the new rules are based on extensive underwriting for the loans; essentially forcing lenders to do extra leg work to make sure that consumers are able to pay back the loans that they take out. The additional checks and balances that payday lenders will have to go through in order to make loans will likely result in many of them being unable to afford to stay in business.

Some crafty investors are working on their own versions of payday loans to swoop in and snatch up their share of the growing number of people who demand short term, small dollar loans. Uber recently announced that it will allow its drivers to get payday advances of up to $1,000 against their paychecks. The money will be paid back directly from the drivers’ pay checks. And Uber is not the only company that is cooking up new ways to offer services that look a heck of a lot like traditional payday loans.

The CFPB has done what the government is known for doing from time to time. They have stepped in to put new regulations on an industry that is already undergoing massive transformations. And if the CFPB gets its way, the new rules will more than likely limit the options available to poor people. All the while similar financial services and products will become more available to middle class households. It is a reversal of fortunes that should never take place, and one that could have lasting negative impacts on lower income households for decades to come.

The CFPB has come right out and said that the new rules will raise costs for lenders and that they will ultimately lead to a reduction of total loan volume by more than 50 percent. So, the money that would have been lent to lower income consumers (higher risk borrowers) will more than likely end up in the wallets of people who have higher incomes (lower risk borrowers.) Anytime an aspect of lending is regulated the lenders will react by enacting new prices in their loan contracts. They have to account for the increased risk/cost somewhere, right?

They say that bad things tend to roll downhill. The poor in this country know this fact all too well. Unfortunately, it is usually the government who is causing the lack of fortunate financial circumstances that millions of people must contend with. The new rules being proposed by the CFPB are just another example of how a government agency can act on the “behalf” of a group of people and wind up making things even worse on that group of people in the process.

How to get a Quick $500 for a Casino Trip with your Buddies

Every once in a while you just have to get out with the buddies. And if you are serious about having a good time, you know there is nothing like heading out for a road trip to the casino. Whether you head out to Vegas or keep your trip more on the local side of things, you know that great times await when you and some of your best friends have a night/weekend of gambling and fun. The bad thing is, though, that you cannot head out the door for one of these trips without a little bit of cash in your pocket. Many guys find that they are flat broke when these types of trips are scheduled to take place, and often don’t know what to do.

Fear not! You don’t have to miss out on all the good times that are sure to happen when the next casino trip rolls around. We’ve put together some tips that will help you to get $500 or so for a great time with your crew…Casino

One option is to use a website or local reseller to sell off some of your seldom used belongings. Find that you don’t get to play golf all that much these days, and willing to part with that old set of clubs? You may find that a local sporting goods reseller in your area is willing to give you a bit of cash to take them off your hands. Have electronics or other stuff to sell? You might want to use eBay or even Craigslist to create a quick, 2 day sale.

The downside with these methods is that you will often only get pennies on the dollar from your initial purchase price. A reseller might only give you $20 or $30 for a set of clubs that you paid hundreds for, and online auctions can often not pan out as you might expect. Still, though, if you have a bunch of stuff you don’t mind getting rid of, and don’t mind taking less for them than they are worth, this is a valid way for those of you who need a quick $500 for a trip to the casino with your buddies. But you may have to sell of quite a bit of stuff in order to make that much money.

Another Method for a Quick $500 for a Casino Trip

If you don’t feel like conducting a fire sale on all of your best stuff in order to make the casino trip, you might want to consider getting a payday advance loan. There are a lot of people who deride these types of loans, but the fact of the matter is that these loans are often the best way to get quick cash for emergencies. And getting out there with your buddies for some gambling qualifies as an emergency in this case.

Payday lenders usually charge about $15 for every $100 you borrow. They get paid back two weeks after you get the loan. So if you’re short on cash because you’re between paydays at work, you get to pay the loan back once that next check is in the bank. So, you could potentially borrow $500 and pay back $575 in two weeks. These types of loans give you cash with a time buffer, so you can not worry about paying them back until you have your next check from work. For those seriously looking for how to get a quick $500 for a casino trip with buddies, the simple payday loan may be the easiest way to get it done.

Think about these options, and the next time you need cash in order to have a bit of fun with your friends, you at least now have a couple of options that may work out quite well for you.

Some Democrats Divided over Payday Lending Regulation Issues

For weeks now, Representative Debbie Wasserman Shultz has faced searing criticism for her stance on legislation that could help to change the way payday loans are regulated in this country – some via TV spots. Why is everyone up in arms about Wasserman Shultz’s stance? Well, the left has a long history of holding a grudge against short term lending operations. And since Wasserman Shultz is a very influential, powerful leader of the Democratic Party, it is easy to see why some Dems are not exactly happy with her. This has all been big news lately, and this article certainly is not the first – or last – time Wasserman Shultz and the payday lending industry will be mentioned.Democrat-Donkey

What is somewhat quietly sneaking under the radar, though, is the fact that there are other elected officials from the Democrat’s side of the fence that are also starkly in support of new measures to delay/eliminate proposed regulations that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has been threatening to enact for some time now. For example, the U.S. Senate candidate Patrick Murphy has also thrown his support behind new legislation that seeks to postpone/radically change the plans that the CFPB has had in mind for quite some time.

Of course, taking a stand for something in this country means that you will without doubt face opposition. Murphy’s support of the new legislation has garnered the ire of his rival in the Senate race, Representative Alan Grayson. It seems that Grayson and other leaders in the Democratic Party, along with the CFPB, are intent on cracking down on the payday lending industry. And Grayson will likely use this difference of opinions on the matter as a key talking point as the race continues to heat up.

Murphy was not late to the game by any stretch of the imagination. He was one of the original co-sponsors of the bill, and was joined by other lawmakers from the state of Florida. These Florida leaders believe that the proposed CFPB regulations will do damage to regulations that were passed by the state Legislature a few years back. Representative Dennis Ross introduced the bill and it has gained plenty of support from members of the Florida delegation.

Sean Bartlett is Debbie Wasserman Shultz’s communication director. Bartlett recently stated, “Florida lawmakers know that before 2001, the payday lending industry was running roughshod over consumers in the Sunshine State. The State House and Senate voted unanimously at the time to make reforms that fifteen years later, better protect consumers while still preserving access to credit for working families who need it. The cosponsors of H.R. 4018 believe Florida’s model and experience can be instructive to CFPB as it considers its national rulemaking.”

Some consumer advocate groups, however, believe that the payday lending industry did what it could to influence the Florida payday lending laws. According to the Florida Alliance for Consumer Protection: “In exchange for minimal regulatory requirements, the industry was permitted to issue predatory loans, extracting millions in exorbitant fees each year from the Floridians that can least afford it.”

This battle is just beginning to heat up. And while Wasserman Shultz may continue to be the face of Democratic leaders supporting the new bill to the general media, it is clear that other party members have the same core beliefs about the strength of Florida payday regulations and the ability of states to do this type of regulation on their own. The alternative seems to be for states to simply roll over and allow the federal government, by way of the CFPB, to continue to hand down laws that could potentially destroy already effective regulation measures.

The Great Payday Lending Battle Understanding Florida Payday Loan Regulations

There are currently elected officials – both Democrats and Republicans – who have joined forces to push back against the CFPB’s new payday loan regulations. Many of the opponents of the CFPB’s proposed regulations have mentioned that Florida does a great job regulating this industry at the state level. As such, these people believe that states should have the right to regulate short term loans without interference from the CFPB or any organization that represents the federal government. To help you get more insight into this issue, it is wise to understand the Florida payday regulations for yourself. Here are some things you need to know about payday lending regulations in Florida

Number of Loans are Restricted as are Loan Amounts

A borrower can only have a single outstanding payday loan at any given time. There is a centralized database that is used to track every payday loan processed in the Sunshine State. When a borrower pays back their loan, an extra 24 hour cooling off period is tacked on prior to that person being able to take out another loan. The maximum amount that someone can borrow from a payday lender is $500.

payday21Terms of Florida Payday Loans

A payday loan cannot be given for less than 7 days or more than 31. These loans cannot be rolled over. For example, if someone takes out a two week payday loan, the lender is not allowed to rollover (renew) the loan, tacking on extra fees and running the life of the loan for another two weeks. Note that in this scenario the total loan time would be under 31 days. Terms are set when a borrower takes out a loan. However, if they are not able to pay, loans can be extended without any additional fees being charged.

Payday Loan Fees

The laws in Florida put limits on fees that can be charged on payday loans. The fee cap is set at 10 percent of the loan amount. Additionally, any loan costs, like verification fees, are strictly limited to just five dollars per loan. It should also be noted that the fee cap is not one that accrues over the course of time. If someone were to take a year to pay off a payday loan, for example, the 10 percent would not snowball into a huge fee. If it were for a $200 loan, the fee would never be more than the 10 percent, or $20, plus costs that top out at $5.

Payday Loan Grace Periods

In Florida the law states that borrowers are given a 60 day grace period if they are not able to pay back loans on the original due date. In order to get the grace period, though, borrowers must set up an appointment with a credit counseling agency within a week of the loan due date and complete a credit counseling course within the 60 days of grace that are given. The credit counseling company may recommend a repayment plan, and the borrower must pay their debt according to this plan without incurring any extra fees or loan costs.

Collection Policies

If someone gives a lender a check and the check bounces, there are limits on what lenders can do. The lender cannot pursue criminal actions against the borrower. The lender is allowed to demand payment, but costs are capped at the 10 percent fee and a $5 fee for bad checks that the lender might get charged for from their own bank. Payday lenders can only get additional money if they file a lawsuit and the court sees fit to side with the lending company on this matter.

These are just some of the main points of Florida payday lending regulation. Some are pushing for Florida to be the model for the entire nation, while others simply want the CFPB to back off and allow states to decide on their own how to best regulate the short term lending industry. Which solution do you think is the best for your state?

Can Payday Lenders and the CFPB Come to an Understanding?

There are lots of subjects that divide people on a regular basis. Folks who love one form of music, may despise another musical form. Some people think spending time outdoors is amazing, while others don’t like to venture too far from their favorite living room chair. And forget about trying to get conservatives and liberals to agree on much of anything. Another decisive issue that is getting a lot of attention lately is that of short term lending. Some consumer advocates believe that these loans are the worst thing in the world, while others believe that payday lending companies provide a valuable service to their customers. There’s just no reaching a middle ground on some subjects.direct_payday_loans_pros_cons1

Many who fashion themselves as consumer protectors have a deep seated hatred of short term loans, and view the providers of these loans in a bad light. People who tend to favor consumer choice usually believe that grown people in this country are fully capable and allowed to make choices about the types of financial products and services they choose to pay for; even if a loan has expensive fees to pay, these folks believe that everyone should have the freedom of choice to decide on their own.

As far apart as these two groups seem to be, there may actually be some common ground that both sides are not even aware of: They both want consumers to get reasonable access to lines of credit, and expect that those products are priced fairly for the people that use them. Once you get past that basic fact, though, the contention between both sides begins to heat up to a point where some people get downright nasty about the topic.

For example, there are news stories now about how the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) – the most powerful and vociferous of all the groups against payday lending – has been violating the sovereignty of Native American tribes as a part of their efforts to introduce new regulations on the payday lending industry. This industry happens to be a major source of income and employment for some tribes. This is a precarious battle that will likely wage for some time to come.

The Public Affairs Head for Advance American Jamie Fulmer said, “What strikes us is that when the Bureau was established by Professor and now Senator Warren and Director Cordray, there was a lot of talk about the need not to dictate consumer choice but to provide a level playing field across a broad spectrum of financial services companies.” Fulmer went on to note that the financial landscape right now is not so level right now.

In a recent interview Fulmer explained, “Customers are redefining what mainstream customer services are. We think the type of loan we are type of providing falls strongly in the mainstream, because consumers find that they have an increased, yet regular, need for small dollar short-term credit. We believe that was the correct approach and it was rooted in ensuring simplicity, transparency and full and complete and understandable disclosure.”

As to whether or not the CFPB and the major players in the payday lending industry can ever come to an understanding is something that we will all have to wait and see. However, more people – both private citizens and elected officials – are now starting to come out of the woodwork in support of the freedom of financial choice that payday lenders provide to their customers. Proponents of payday lending seem willing to reach common ground; the ball is now in the court of the CFPB.