WSJ Highlights Payday Industry Effort to Manipulate CFPB Public Comment Process

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Wall Street Journal reported on the escalating fight between consumer advocates and Payday lenders, whose unethical behavior extends well beyond their exploitation of working Americans. The CFPB is expected to release a new rule protecting consumers of payday, car title, and other short-term loans.

As Allied Progress noted in a letter to the CFPB last year, payday lending groups are using dubious methods to dramatically inflate the number of comments opposing the CFPB’s efforts to curb the industry’s most wrecking behavior.

According to the Journal’s report, Amscot Financial, submitted hundreds of thousands of comments to the CFPB, many with similar phrasing, thus calling into question their authenticity of the comments.

The WSJ story states that of the 1.4 million comments submitted:

  • “…the agency labels some comments “duplicates” or “substantially similar” when posting them online.”

A CFPB spokesman also told the Journal that:

  • “…the bureau is ‘committed to ensuring that all of its regulations reflect a thorough and balanced review of stakeholder viewpoints,’ including consideration of public comments.”

Working Americans have a lot at stake in this fight. Every year more than 12 million consumers fall victim to the underhanded business practices of payday lenders – an industry that deliberately traps customers in cycles of debt featuring interest rates that, on average, exceed 300 percent.

For more background on the shady Payday Lending industry, visit PaydayLendingFacts.org.

To speak with Karl Frisch about Payday lending, please contact Annette McDermott, 202-697-4804 or at annette@alliedprogress.org.

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Allied Progress uses hard-hitting research and creative campaigns to stand up to Wall Street and powerful special interests and hold their allies in Congress and the White House accountable.

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