Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Byrd Seeks to Curb Predator Loans

Susie Byrd to present ordinance to curb the harmful effects of payday loans and auto title loans
on El Paso consumers

On Thursday, December 6th at the Special City Council Meeting that starts at 9:30am, Susie Byrd will urge the Mayor and Council to begin the process of adopting an ordinance whose intent is to curb the harmful effects of payday loans and auto title loans for El Paso consumers.

“The State of Texas has failed to protect consumers from high cost loans that trap them in a cycle of debt where they continue to pay fees and interest but never pay off the loan. Many cities are stepping up to protect Texas consumers. El Paso should join them,” says Susie Byrd, City Council Representative for District 2.
According to the Texas Fair Lending Alliance, “The average Texas borrower pays $840 or more for a $300 loan and around $1,000 per month in fees alone for a $4,000 auto title loan. Borrowers often pay these fees month after month without reducing the loan principal.”

The proposed ordinance modeled after similar legislation passed in Dallas, Austin and San Antonio would require:

  • Limiting payday loans to 20% of the borrower's gross monthly income.
  • Limiting auto title loans to the lesser of 3% of the borrower's gross annual income or 70% of the vehicle value.
  • Limiting loans to no more than four installments or three rollovers or renewals (a rollover or renewal is defined as an extension of consumer credit made within seven days of the previous extension of credit).
  • Requiring the proceeds from each installment or renewal to reduce the loan principal by 25%.
  • Requiring that every contract be written in a language the borrower can understand, or be read in its entirety to any borrower who cannot read.
  • Requiring the lender to provide to the borrower a form created by the city, which references non-profit agencies that provide financial education and agencies with cash assistance programs, and contains general information regarding extensions of consumer credit.

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