Up & Coming Weekly

January 29, 2019

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM JANUARY 30-FEBRUARY 5, 2019 UCW 11 e new director of the U.S. Con- sumer Financial Protection Bureau has asked Congress for explicit au- thority to strengthen its enforcement of financial protections for service members. Kathleen Kraninger wants specific authorization to conduct examinations of payday lenders and others under the CFPB's jurisdiction to ensure the lenders are complying with the Military Lending Act. Kraninger's appointment to the CFPB came under scrutiny in the Senate in December. She was a little- known government employee. Her nomination was narrowly approved along party lines. A 2006 Department of Defense report detailed the harmful effects of high-interest loans on service members and on military readi- ness. In 2015, the Department of Defense tightened its implementing regulation to help prevent lenders from evading the rules. But last year, under then-acting CFPB Director Mick Mulvaney, the agency pulled back from its regular examinations of payday lenders, saying it didn't have the authority to do those exams. In announcing her legislative proposal, which was submitted in January, Kraninger said the bureau's commitment to the well-being of service members "includes ensuring that lenders subject to our jurisdic- tion comply with the Military Lend- ing Act." e law limits interest rates that can be charged to active-duty ser- vice members and their dependents to an annual percentage rate of 36 percent. Young service members, who are particularly vulnerable to these lenders, aren't necessarily aware of complex laws that protect them and might not file complaints. Kraninger noted she was pleased to see the legislation proposed recent- ly in the House of Representatives. e North Carolinas General As- sembly has resisted efforts of payday lenders and other creditors to foist their high interest rates, often in the triple digits, on the people of this state. During years of back and forth on predatory lending, federal legisla- tion has been inconsistent. Two years ago, a bill written by Congress- man Patrick McHenry of western North Carolina would allow lend- ers with the most harmful lending practices to do business in the Tar Heel state. e North Carolina Consumer Finance Act governs check-cashing businesses and prohibits cash ad- vances under some circumstances. A company known as Online Cash 4 Payday declares on its website that "borrowers looking for loans without a credit check or who have bad credit will need to look for alternative forms of financing." North Carolina installment loans and personal loans are available and legal. ere are dozens of small-loan and check-cashing store-front com- panies in Fayetteville. Online Cash 4 Pay said, "we are here to give you access to the money you need when your (sic) in a pinch … whether your (sic) needing a cash advance, install- ment loan, personal funds for debt consolidation, title loan, or any type of financial advance." In anticipation of a proposal to revise debt collection rules ex- pected in March, advocates from 74 national and state consumer groups sent a letter to Kraninger urging the bureau to focus on protecting con- sumers from abusive debt collection practices. Is predatory lending legal? by JEFF THOMPSON NEWS North Carolina installment loans and personal loans are available and legal.

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