Our friend ROb Norcross at CSAT sent over some really good details that he had gathered in response to the OCCC issuing advisory bulletins to licensees on how to remain in compliance while dealing with Harvey aftermath.  I scraped some of those details and organized them below for CAB stakeholders in Texas, and business owners in general that were affected by Harvey.

CAB Consulting and TOFSC have clients and Members in the Coastal region and many were impacted – see below!

“The Texas Office of the Consumer Credit Commissioner issued an advisory bulletin reminding pawn shops of their obligations in statute and rule about safeguarding pledged goods, record retention requirements and relocating to temporary locations (see link in the email below). 

There are no similar provisions in Texas Finance Code Chapter 393 for credit access businesses. Sections 83.308 (b) and (c) in Title 7, Part 5 of the Texas Administrative Code addresses the relocation of transactions from one store to the other Section (c). Section (b) contains the notice requirements for customers and to the OCCC. Section (c) also provides for a waiver of the 5 day notice period by the Commissioner in cases of emergency. 

If one of your stores is damaged, and you choose to send customers to other nearby stores, please take care to follow these procedures. The provisions of your contracts with your customers will govern issues related to due dates, fee calculations, etc. 

The Code prohibits the relocation of a CAB store unless 30 days’ notice is given to the OCCC. There is no waiver provision for an emergency. However, if one of your stores — that is not near another store — is damaged, please contact the OCCC if a temporary location is the only reasonable solution to protect your customers. Despite the absence of a waiver provision in the statute, the OCCC has made reasonable accommodations to protect consumers with all types of licensees in the case of emergency. 

County Sheriff’s Office

If one of your employees has a question about local hurricane relief activities, law enforcement procedures during/after a hurricane, customers applying for federal assistance, shelter availability, etc., please do not hesitate to contact the local county sheriff’s department. Sheriff’s offices are a critical source of information during disaster recovery efforts. They are trained to navigate the varying levels and overlaps of local, state and federal bureaucracy and often serve as a counties’ switchboard during disaster recovery.

Do not spend hours on the telephone being transferred from FEMA official to FEMA official — call your local county sheriff’s office. They will (literally) tell you where to go…

 IRS Extends Filing Deadlines for Hurricane Harvey Victims

The Internal Revenue Service is giving Hurricane Harvey victims extra time to file individual and business tax returns and to make certain tax payments in 18 Texas counties because of the “devastating storm.” Businesses and individuals affected by making quarterly estimated tax payments on September 15th and January 16th now have until January 31st to file tax returns and pay taxes that were during those times. 

Vehicle Titling and Registration Requirements Suspended 

Texas residents in counties impacted by Hurricane Harvey will not have to worry about vehicle titling and registration requirements for the next 45 days. Governor Greg Abbott suspended certain statutes related to the enforcement of title and registration laws in the 58 counties included in the state’s disaster declaration. 

Customer Inquiries to the OCCC

We are working closely with the Office of the Consumer Credit Commissioner to help them process questions received from customers efficiently. Every CAB transaction contract, and most disclosures, include the name, telephone number, and the email address of the OCCC. 

Every time a consumer makes a complaint to the OCCC, the agency is required to open a file, contact the consumer, contact the CAB/lender, make a determination about a resolution for the complaint, and notify both parties in writing before closing the file.

However, after natural disasters, the agency typically receives questions from consumers in addition to complaints. If your company would like to designate a point person to address questions the OCCC may receive from your customers, please let me know. 

We will give the OCCC the name, telephone number and email address of your designee so the OCCC can refer questions directly to you. We want to give the OCCC every incentive to treat as many inquiries as questions, and not complaints (and staff prefers to open as few complaint files as possible). 

Texas Association of Business Hotline

TAB has established a hotline for businesses to connect to the resources they need as rebuilding begins. The hotline number is 512-637-7714. The hotline is available to all businesses. It is not limited to TAB members. You can also sign up to provide services as rebuilding begins in southeast Texas. For more information, visit: www.texbiz.org/2017/08/25/hurricane-harvey/.”

This blog post was written by Michael Brown, President of CAB Consulting and the Texas Organization of Financial Service Centers.  He can be reached at 214-293-8676, or Michael@CreditAccessBusiness.com.

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Since Texas cities began passing the infamous and continuously failing Texas Payday Loan City Ordinance there has been a decrease of 1,300 or so licensed locations inside the State.  According to the most recent OCCC licensee totals, this represents a 37% market shrink.  The results have been a shuttering of businesses in Texas, a loss of thousands jobs, a loss of real estate rents, and decrease in property tax revenues.  Rates have increased 12% in Ordinance cities and demand for unsecured short term credit has largely remained the same.  This is a cold hard truth that was laid out in City Council meetings when we were asking for a “No” vote on the Ordinance.  Is an “I told you so” in order here?

2017 has been a rough year for the Ordinance though, many cities are now bucking the trend and have voted the Ordinance down.  As well, the City of Austin got the double slam-dunk in their simultaneous loss to Speedy Cash and Advance America City Ordinance lawsuits in April.  Those two cases were around a year in the making I wonder if the taxpayers of Austin feel good about the time and expense the City put into an issue that results in a .000153% complaint to loan ratio for Texas residents?  I live in Austin and things are tight budget-wise in this City, despite all the stories you hear about growth it has some problems that should be commanding the attention of city leadership other than the payday industry.

So here comes the next whammee – I was reading over the OCCC’s 1st quarter MSA report for 2017 and it says that 10 of the 2,200 reporting licensees generated 33% of the single payment loan volume, and get this, those 10 licensees were OUT OF STATE!  As far as installment loans go in Texas, 16 OUT OF STATE licensees funded over 37% of the 271,189 installment loan and refinance transactions in the 1st quarter of 2017.  Yes, these are out of state online lending companies who are licensed to do business in Texas but are not within the jurisdiction of any City.  That makes them free to let the market decide and boy did the market ever decide.  On either of the products mentioned – the out of state licensee group was the largest “market” in Texas.  The next biggest markets down were Houston and Dallas but it wasn’t even close to the out of state operators.  Check out the report for yourself below.

Here is a link to the MSA report: http://occc.texas.gov/sites/default/files/uploads/reports/cab-q1-msa-2017.pdf

Imagine if the Payday Loan City ordinance did not force the closure of all of those locations in Texas!  All of that businss would be taking place here in Texas.  Kudos to the online guys who are meeting the need but for obvious reasons we need to work to get those customers back!  I bet the OCCC wishes they had that extra $800,000 per year in licensing revenue.  And how about that $300,000 per year in contributions to the Texas Educational Endowment fund that is now lost?

The full ugliness of the Payday Loan City Ordinance is now beginning to show in the light.  Please pass this information along to your City Council the next time this issue comes up in your market – we are positioned to deliver the facts to them quickly and efficiently so that they can have the full story and move on to the next issue which will be much more meaningful, no doubt!

This blog post was written by Michael Brown, President of CAB Consulting and the Texas Organization of Financial Service Centers.  He can be reached at 214-293-8676, or Michael@CreditAccessBusiness.com.

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The OCCC is seriously focused on Credit Access Business Examinations right now – are you ready?

August 21, 2017

Over the last several weeks there has been a significant uptick in OCCC examinations of our Credit Access Business friends and clients.  Are you ready for the OCCC to walk in your door?  Chances are if you are a member of TOFSC or if you are a client of of CAB Consulting you are in […]

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OCCC Compliance Basics from CAB Consulting

June 27, 2017

Just a reminder for all of you CABs out there – continually review your Consumer Transaction Information Disclosures & Fee Schedules. Many times throughout the course of the year CAB operators may change their CAB fee amounts or offer different loan products such as offering multi-payment installment loans, payday loans, or auto title loans.  When […]

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The Houston Chronicle is dabbling in the in Payday and Title Loan conversation again

June 20, 2017

Babin, DiNardo: State should not loosen payday lender regulations. Written by Anna M. Babin and Cardinal Daniel DiNardo.  Let’s take a minute and dice up this Houston Chronicle piece on Texas Credit Access Businesses.  The newspaper was apparently not satisfied with their role in passing the Houston “Payday Loan Ordinance” which caused a massive amount of […]

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CFPB released a new kind of complaints report

June 19, 2017

After not being able to find the CFPB monthly complaint report on payday loans last week, I found it Wednesday which was a bit later than normal.  The delay might have been because it is a different kind of report, it is focused on “older” complainants who were 62+ years of age. This new format […]

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Payday Boot Camps offered by CAB Consulting at Partner store location in Austin, Texas

June 15, 2017

CAB Consulting has partnered with Star of Texas Financial Solutions in the Austin, Texas area to offer live in-store training sessions to start ups wanting wide and narrow scope guidance on how to get going with their payday, installment, or auto title loan venture.  As well, Payday Boot Camps are often conducted for existing companies […]

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Use the OCCC’s Alecs portal to file annual and quarterly reports

June 9, 2017

Did you know that the OCCC has added the capability of filing your Annual and Quarterly reports to the Alecs portal?  That is right, you no longer need to access the separate reporting area – everything you need is done right inside of your company’s Alecs portal. Login to Alecs, click “Manage my Business” in […]

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The Texas Payday Loan Ordinance suffers another blow, this time Abilene voted it down.

May 12, 2017

Down goes another “payday down city ordinance! On Thursday, April 27th. 2017 the Abilene City Council did right thing and voted “NO” on the so-called “payday loan city ordinance.” Things do not seem to be going very well for the payday loan city ordinance these days the truth is really starting to get out that […]

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Huge blow dealt to the “Payday Loan Ordinance” in Texas (and more to come!)

March 21, 2017

Around March 1st a huge blow was dealt to the “Payday Loan Ordinance” in Texas.  The news came out that an Austin court had ruled in favor of Credit Access Businesses in (2) lawsuits related to the ordinance where the City of Austin was sued.  In those cases, the court ruled that the ordinances were […]

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