WASHINGTON – A report released today by the Stop The Debt Trap coalition finds auto repair shops across the country are offering predatory loans through EasyPay Finance and Transportation Alliance Bank (TAB Bank) that promise no interest if paid in 90 days but end up carry annual interest rates up to 189% – even in states where a rate that high is illegal. The report highlights some of the hundreds of complaints detailing deceptive and abusive practices concerning loans by EasyPay Finance, its parent company Duvera Billing Services, and Utah-based bank, TAB Bank, which helps EasyPay evade state laws. EasyPay Finance loans are available at auto repair and tire shops around the country, including at major chains such as AAMCO, Big O Tires, Grease Monkey, JiffyLube, Meineke, Midas, and Precision Tune Auto Care.
With the confirmation of Lisa Cook to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, we should take a moment to celebrate the historic moment. Lisa Cook will join the board as the first Black woman governor. Philip Jefferson will soon become only the fourth Black man to serve on the board. With Lael Brainard as Vice Chair, the Fed Board, long a preserve of white men, is starting to look more like the country as a whole.
In much of America, owning a car is necessary to participate in the economy, and to live a full and vibrant life. However, this ticket to opportunity comes at an increasingly steep price – as of 2021, Americans owe $1.42 trillion in auto loan debt.
AFR joined a letter to Congress in support of S. 4145, the Consumer Protection Remedies Act of 2022. This bill would restore the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) authority to stop misconduct in the marketplace, and critically, to provide timely refunds and equitable relief to victims of consumer fraud and deception.
The concept of carried interest is quite old, and in the right circumstances, makes a good deal of sense. By the 13th century, Venetian investors were offering seafaring merchants a quarter of the overall profits in exchange for selling their goods in foreign markets. That percentage was the carry—it was a return on what we’d call the merchants’ sweat equity. Private equity firms, which pool money from investors such as pension funds and use it to buy and restructure (euphemism alert!) existing companies, borrowed the concept, but not the risk. They typically take a 2 percent annual cut of the assets they manage as a fee, and then a 20 percent share of the profits when those assets are sold. There’s no sweat equity—the only time private equity titans brave the high seas is on a yacht—but there also isn’t much regular equity, either. The firms’ final take is vastly disproportionate to whatever small sum they might have contributed.
AFREF joined Consumer Federation of America and Better Markets in a comment letter in response to FINRA’s request for comment on complex products calling for protections that extend beyond greater disclosures for retail investors who are vulnerable to losing significant amount of money unexpectedly on a number of complex and risky products.
Letters to Regulators: Letter in Response to CFPB NPRM Regarding the Prohibition on Inclusion of Adverse Information in Consumer Reporting in Cases of Human Trafficking
AFREF joined a letter in response to the CFPB’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding the Prohibition on Inclusion of Adverse Information in Consumer Reporting in Cases of Human Trafficking.
AFR led a letter to Congress with 26 signers in support of the Opportunity Zone Reform Act.
In this statement, AFR focuses in particular on the CFPB’s recent enforcement successes, the need to retain its authority, and some of the CFPB’s existing and future priorities.
News Release: Advocates Applaud Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Move to Require Mortgage Lenders to Obtain Applicants’ Language Preference
WASHINGTON – Today, National Consumer Law Center, Americans for Financial Reform, Consumer Action, Empire Justice Center, National Community Stabilization Trust, National Fair Housing Alliance, UnidosUS, and National CAPACD applauded the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) announcement that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will make it mandatory for lenders to use the Supplementary Consumer Information Form (SCIF) during the loan application process.