Ed's News

State Attorneys General Oppose Payday Lender Protection Bill In Congress

By Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

Last week a broadly bi-partisan group of 41 state Attorneys General announced their joint opposition to misguided legislation to take both the CFPB and the states off the payday lender crime beat. The AG letter, on National Association of Attorneys General letterhead, is attracting press attention in places ranging from Mississippi to Massachusetts.

HR 6139, which has some bi-partisan support (its lead sponsors are Reps. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) and Joe Baca (D-CA) and others), would place the payday lenders under the jurisdiction of a bank regulator, where in the high-cost lenders' opinion, they'd face less oversight than they have in the states and from the CFPB. However, the bank regulator that HR 6139 would place them under, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), has already said: "No, we don't want you."

Nevertheless, expect the payday lenders, led by Cash America (that link is to an OpenSecrets.org donations summary that refers to a predecessor bill, HR 1909), to continue to invest in the political process in hopes of moving their proposal forward. They don't have a Senate sponsor yet, but are beating the bushes to find one. After all, what's wrong with having a Get Out Of Regulation Free Card? That's their real goal, even if the OCC has indicated that they won't help with the plan.

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