Feds could address payday lending soon

Joseph Lawler of the Washington Examiner reports on pending federal government action linked to payday loans.

Payday industry officials and consumer advocates expect the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to finalize sweeping new regulations on payday loans in the next few weeks.

Several payday industry lobbyists say they anticipate that Director Richard Cordray, an Obama appointee, will finalize the rule before leaving Washington to run for governor of Ohio, and will do so possibly before Labor Day.

For now, those expectations are based on rumors and speculation. Cordray, whose term runs until next summer, has not said that he will run for governor, and the bureau has not indicated that it is ready to finalize the rule, which was proposed in June 2016. The bureau did not respond to requests for comment.

Even so, the prognosis for the rule, which payday lenders say would decimate their industry, is much better than it was just months ago. In the wake of President Trump’s victory, Republicans hoped they could stop the rule. Failing that, they suggested that it could be reversed through the Congressional Review Act, which they have used to cancel more than a dozen of the rules issued late in former President Barack Obama’s term.

Now, though, consumer advocates who have fought for years for federal regulations on payday and auto title loans are eager to see Cordray finalize the rule, and believe that it will hold up despite opposition from a unified GOP government.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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