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Politics & MoneyMortgage

Kraninger releases plan to gut CFPB Payday Lending Rule

Says it will delay rule for further consideration

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Kathy Kraninger announced a delay to the Payday Lending Rule as the bureau reconsiders some portions.

The CFPB proposed Wednesday to rescind certain provisions of its 2017 final rule governing “Payday, Vehicle Title, and Certain High-Cost Installment Loans.” The bureau announced it is looking to rescind the rule’s requirements that lenders make certain underwriting determinations before issuing payday, single-payment vehicle title, and longer-term balloon payment loans.

The CFPB explained it found that by rescinding this requirement, it would allow consumers greater access to credit.

In October 2018, under the leadership of then Acting Director Mick Mulvaney, the bureau announced that it would issue Notice of Proposed Rulemakings to reconsider the rule’s mandatory underwriting requirements and to address the rule’s compliance date.

“The bureau’s proposal suggests there was insufficient evidence and legal support for the mandatory underwriting provisions in the 2017 final rule,” the CFPB stated. “Additionally, the bureau is concerned that these provisions would reduce access to credit and competition in states that have determined that it is in their residents’ interests to be able to use such products, subject to state-law limitations.”

The CFPB announced that the proposal to remove the ability to repay portions of the rule will be open for comment for 90 days.

But the housing industry is already weighing in.

“We are pleased that the CFPB is going to delay the payday rule for further consideration,” said Dan Berger, National Association of Federally Insured Credit Unions president and CEO. “NAFCU supports 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.”

“Credit unions provide many forms of small-dollar loans and other affordable products to their members, and NAFCU urges all consumers to consider a credit union for their financial needs,” Berger continued.

But not everyone was happy to hear the news.

“Kathy Kraninger is siding with the payday loan sharks instead of the American people,” said Rebecca Borné, senior policy counsel at the Center for Responsible Lending. “The CFPB, under a previous director, spent five years developing these consumer safeguards, taking input from lenders, faith leaders, veteran and military organizations, civil rights groups, consumer advocates and consumers from across the country.”

“But over the past year, payday lenders have spearheaded an effort, with Mick Mulvaney and now Kraninger’s help, to take consumer protections away from financially vulnerable Americans,” Borné said. “We urge Director Kraninger to reconsider, as her current plan will keep families trapped in predatory, unaffordable debt.”

And others agreed with her.

“The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, under Director Kathy Kraninger, has officially given predatory debt traps its seal of approval,” said Mike Litt, U.S. PIRG consumer campaign director. “By proposing to get rid of its underwriting requirement, the CFPB is gutting its own protections.”

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