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CBF’s Stephen Reeves comments on federal proposal to end payday loan abuses

News

CBF’s Stephen Reeves comments on federal proposal to end payday loan abuses

Deenie Grubbs

DECATUR, Ga. — The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced Thursday an outline of federal regulation proposals to end abusive practices in the payday lending industry. The draft set forth would require payday lenders to verify borrowers’ income and expenses before making a loan to determine whether they could reasonably be expected to both pay off the loan and meet other living expenses, such as rent and groceries, without having to borrow again and accumulate additional fees.

Stephen K. Reeves, who oversees advocacy for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, commented on these proposals to rein in predatory lending

“Cooperative Baptist pastors and leaders are pleased that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is moving forward with rules that if finalized as outlined, would go a long way toward ending debt-trap lending and creating a truly fair marketplace for small-dollar loans. I hope that giving lenders a choice as to which approach to follow, prevention or protection, does not prove problematic considering the industry’s notorious ability to creatively avoid regulations and exploit loopholes. While this is a concern, the proposals outlined yesterday certainly represent a significant step forward for borrowers. If the rules are strongly enforced and operate as intended, they will result in major improvements over current practices in so many states.

“Our partner churches, pastors and other leaders have seen first-hand the devastating consequences of payday and auto-title lending in their congregations and communities. They have used their benevolence funds to aid neighbors trapped in the cycle of debt proven to be so central to this business model. They have offered financial education classes to their communities and have worked to develop alternative lending products and partnerships. They have also been outspoken advocates and have served as key members of coalitions working for small-dollar lending reform in states such as Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri and Texas.

“It is time to return to traditional values regarding usury and away from immoral debt-trap loans that have done so much damage to the vulnerable in our communities. The incredible consensus among faith organizations proves that no longer will people of faith stand by while our neighbors are exploited for profit. We thank the CFPB for the direction this outline represents, look forward to engaging in the rulemaking process, and call on members of Congress to support and defend the enforcement of new rules.”

To request an interview with Stephen Reeves on these proposed rules, contact CBF Communications Manager Aaron Weaver at aweaver@cbf.net or (770) 220-1610.

Bio: Stephen K. Reeves is associate coordinator of partnerships and advocacy at the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, a national network of 1,800 churches located across the United States. Prior to leading the advocacy efforts of CBF, Reeves served as public policy director for the Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission, where he led a diverse coalition of faith groups to successfully secure passage of “first step” payday loan reforms during the 82nd session of the Texas legislature in 2011. A respected advocate for payday loan reform, Reeves is a graduate of Texas Tech University (J.D.) and the University of Texas at Austin (B.A.).

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CBF is a Christian Network that helps people put their faith to practice through ministry eff­orts, global missions and a broad community of support.The Fellowship’s mission is to serve Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission.