Payday Loans are First Target of New Consumer Protection Chief

01/19/12

Richard Cordray’s first CFPB hearing will be held today and will focus on the practices of payday lenders. Seventeen states and the District of Columbia already outlaw payday loans, but in all of the others, lenders can and do charge 400% interest or more, on loans against consumers' next paycheck. Under terms of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, the CFPB could not regulate payday lenders or other nonbank entities that provide financial products until its director was in place. As Republican senators were blocking Cordray's confirmation, President Barack Obama used a recess appointment to install him last month. Cordray's first order of business was to launch the bureau's nonbank supervision program, from which today's hearing springs. Consumer advocates are very hopeful that the CFPB will use its authority to scrutinize industry loan records and marketing materials and gauge their compliance with federal laws. According to Jean Ann Fox of the Consumer Federation of America, consumer groups also hope that the CFPB will develop new rules regarding industry practices deemed unfair, deceptive and abusive.

Carter Doughtery of Bloomberg News just posted a more detailed description of the CFPB's current inquiry into payday lending  

 

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