Memo to Media: Beware of Shady Payday Industry Sources When Writing Your Stories

To: Interested Parties

From: Karl Frisch, Allied Progress

Date: Friday, September 29, 2017

Re: Beware of Questionable Payday Industry Sources


With the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) expected to unveil its long-awaited rule to reign in the worst abuses of payday, car title, and other short-term lenders, it is worth noting that many of the individuals and organizations who have opposed this rule in the past have demonstrated through their actions and misleading or false rhetoric that they are not trustworthy sources of information when it comes to these issues. Below you will find details about these figures with links to our vast and extensively fact-checked research archive. If you have questions or need additional information, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Community Financial Services Association of America (CFSA)

Community Financial Services Association of America (CFSA) is the payday lending industry’s primary special interest trade association. The organization has spent millions of dollars lobbying and contributing to powerful politicians and currying favor with other powerful interests.

Dennis Shaul (CEO of Community Financial Services Association)

Dennis Shaul is the well-paid CEO of the payday lending industry’s special interest trade group, Community Financial Services Association of America (CFSA). Previously, Shaul worked for the House Financial Services Committee before making a bee line to the revolving door for a job that pays him more than $500,000 a year to shill for an industry he once helped to oversee.

Consumer Credit Research Foundation (CCRF)

Consumer Credit Research Foundation (CCRF) is a payday lending industry-funded front group that has commissioned pro-industry academic research at universities around the country. In 2015, Campaign for Accountability released an explosive report revealing how the industry-backed CCRF finances and influences “academic research,” dictating edits and encouraging omissions of information that might paint payday lending in a negative light.

Hilary Miller (Payday Industry Attorney and CCRF Chairman)

Hilary Miller is president of the Payday Loan Bar Association and the chairman of Consumer Credit Research Foundation (CCRF). He is a lawyer for payday lender Dollar Financial Group (which funds CCRF) and its subsidiaries and has been a signatory on the SEC forms of dozens of companies, many of them payday lenders. Privately, Miller concedes “very few” borrowers repay their loans, writing in a private email, “consumers mostly either roll over or default, very few actually repay their loans in cash on the due date.”

Jamie Fulmer (Mouthpiece for Payday Lending Giant, Advance America)

Jamie Fulmer is a prominent payday lending mouthpiece and prolific tweeter who openly admits that payday loans are risky. He also says that consumers find themselves trapped in debt cycles because they like payday loans so much. Seriously.

Credit Union National Association (CUNA)

The Credit Union National Association (CUNA), a financial services trade group, is led by former Rep. Jim Nussle (R-IA). A prominent opponent of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and many of its reforms, CUNA has been critical of the Bureau’s reform efforts on payday lending. Left out of the conversation is the fact that Nussle took $1.43 million from CFPB-regulated industries when he was in Congress.

Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Chairman of House Financial Services Committee

Under Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), the House Financial Services Committee has become an industry revolving door with many staffers entering from or leaving for jobs in the financial industry and either investing in or taking junkets paid for by the very industry they are meant to oversee. Hensarling is a steadfast defender of predatory lenders – he’s taken thousands of dollars

Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO)

Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) is the payday lending industry’s favorite member of Congress. He has taken at least $63,500 from payday lenders during his congressional career. One year he even addressed the annual payday lender’s conference at a California luxury golf resort via pre-recorded video since he couldn’t be there in person. On several occasions, Luetkemeyer has accepted thousands of dollars in campaign cash from payday lenders just before or soon after taking official actions to benefit the industry

Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL)

No other Democrat in Congress has taken more money from the payday lending industry than Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL) – few Republicans have either. He’s even taken official action to benefit the payday lending industry shortly before and after taking thousands in campaign contributions from the industry. In fact, he took $2,500 from a payday lending industry PAC the day after he signed on to co-sponsor legislation that would benefit the industry.

Other Prominent Payday Lending Figures Often Quoted by Media

Other Groups That Have Defended Payday Lenders

Visit PaydayLendingFacts.org For More Research

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