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Consumer protection crackdown on predatory lending a welcome protection, KU financial researcher says

Thu, 10/05/2017

LAWRENCE — The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced Thursday new regulations to prevent payday loans and auto title lenders from taking advantage of low-income consumers. The new rules would require lenders to assess a consumer’s ability to repay the loan. They also give banks and credit unions an opportunity to offer lower-cost installment loans to consumers; however, states and federal regulators need to offer clear guidance so that the loans are offered safely and affordably, according to a University of Kansas professor.

Terri Friedline, assistant professor of social welfare, is available to discuss the new rules and their effects. The primary requirement in the new rules is for lenders to assess whether a consumer can afford to pay off the loan and still meet basic living expenses. Friedline can discuss the assessment, financial opportunity, equality, payday lending, financial equality, the regulations, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and related topics.

“These new rules are an important step toward protecting consumers,” Friedline said. “Consumer advocates have been anticipating CFPB’s new rules on predatory lending for a long time, and it was exciting to participate in the local and regional conversation about predatory lending at the CFPB’s field hearing in Kansas City last year.”

Friedline added that, while the rules are slated to go into effect 21 months after being published in the Federal Register, there could still be attempts to weaken the rules or block them altogether. She noted the Congressional Review Act was used in an attempt to block CFPB’s rules on prepaid cards and forced arbitration from taking effect.

Friedline has done extensive research in financial opportunity and financial welfare for American consumers. She recently completed a project mapping the locations of financial institutions throughout the United States and the opportunities available to different communities, and she has also researched the links between early savings and financial well-being, importance of financial education, effects of the Great Recession on young people and how where a person grows up can affect their financial success later in life.

To schedule an interview, contact Mike Krings at 785-864-8860 or mkrings@ku.edu.



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