The Austin American Statesman put out an article this week (Senate votes to limit city regulations on private businesses.”) that discussed two bills in the legislature that were about to be passed by the Senate.  The bills, SB 2486 and SB 2488, will limit local government control over private businesses.  It appears the bills are directly focused on employer issues like hiring practices and break times.  

After hearing some very familiar talking points that support the authority of State law over local ordinances, it stands to reason that the passage of bills like these could lead to better days for Credit Access Businesses offering payday loans, installment loans, and title loans in Texas. 

Of course, an Austin City Council Member testified at a hearing against one of the bills.  Greg Cesar said one of the bills “disgracefully” preempted local regulations.  Let me remind Councilman Cesar of what a disgrace the attempted enforcement of the Payday Loan City Ordinance has been for the City of Austin.  They have been involved in two lawsuits for 2+ years against Speedy Cash and Advance America.  It has been a back and forth legal battle that has consumed City of Austin resources for far too long and even with all that money and time spent, no victory for Austin.  I am sure the residents of Austin would rather have their tax dollars spent on more meaningful subjects.  That is the disgrace! 

Now that I got a good swipe in against the Austin City Council, I will get back to two strong talking points I saw used. Each of them can be used almost as a mirror image in the argument for preemption of the Payday Loan City Ordinance by existing Texas law.

“One comment dismissed concerns over water breaks and work environments, stating that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration already regulates workplace safety.”  (This is exactly the same scenario with Credit Access Businesses – we are already regulated by the Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner).

Senator Creighton said: “I believe in uniformity across the state for the applicant and also for the employer, and it should happen in this building.” (This really applies to any business in Texas with more than one location.  Operating Credit Access Businesses in a City with an Ordinance and one without an Ordinance causes operational confusion and customer inconvenience).

At this point I believe that many Cities in Texas no longer look at passing the Payday Loan Ordinance because they know if they pass it and enforce it they will be looking at allocating several years’ worth of time in lawsuits over it.  So that addresses the further spreading of the Ordinance.  In terms of rolling back existing Ordinances across Texas, perhaps there issome opportunity ahead where the passage of these two bills creates the precedent for leaders in our industry to get that done!

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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We have been hearing a lot lately about the continued decline of retail business in the US.  Zales and Jared jewelry retail stores are the latest to announce closures of hundreds of locations.

Online is booming and it seems like Amazon rules the world.  If your business does not have an online presence you are missing out on a lot of opportunity because your pure brick & mortar market is shrinking by the minute.  Consumers are evolving and many low to middle income consumers are willing to do more and more to get access to credit at crucial times.  How will you engage with this new dynamic?

Forbes.com featured an article that discusses how increased online markets are opening a consumer’s willingness to share their personal info online while also touting the strengths of today’s alternative data.  I included some excerpts below.

“People Are Plenty Willing To Share Personal Data To Get A Better Loan.”

  • New research suggests that people are surprisingly comfortable sharing their data as long as it’s being put to good use, especially in the world of lending.
  • A recent Harris Poll found a surprising consensus among American adults — 71% of those surveyed said they would be willing to share more personal data with a lender if it led to a fairer loan decision.
  • More significantly, the Harris Poll shows that the majority of consumers feel unfairly treated by the current system.  More than 80% of African-Americans and Hispanics – and 7 in 10 of all adults – say they wish there were a better way to prove themselves to lenders.
  • But in today’s era of large-scale data collection and unlimited computing power, the traditional credit score is showing signs of age and mathematical limitations.
  • Consider some of the things credit scoring excludes: your job history, your roots in your town and thousands of other bits of information that are left untapped. It’s no wonder 70% of people polled say it’s difficult to get financial institutions to see them as anything but a number between 300 and 850.
  • One-third of renters say credit scores have kept them from buying a home.   
  • Alternative data simply means anything that’s not included in calculating a traditional credit score. It could include timely utility payments, history of holding down a job, even large debts you had years ago (outside of the traditional credit score models) that you successful paid off.
  • Bringing that added data into the credit scoring decision creates a more nuanced picture of borrower risk, helping banks spot worthy borrowers further down the credit spectrum (and flagging troublesome borrowers who look good on paper).
  •  The Omidyar Foundation found that in the six biggest emerging economies, using more data and machine learning techniques can get as many as 580 million unbanked people into the financial mainstream.”

Many of us are using “alternative data” with Factor Trust and Microbilt (often referred to as “Credit Reporting Agencies” or “CRA’s”).  If you are not, get on it as soon as possible!  

Factor Trust was recently acquired by Trans Union, and another CRA “Clarity Services” was acquired by Experian awhile back. In the future hopefully that will mean better things for how CRA’s are utilized by our industry and will also mean more robust access to credit for consumers.”

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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Mick Mulvaney at the CFPB wants to lean on State regulators like the OCCC

March 29, 2018

One popular counter to the CFPB and it’s regulation of the payday industry is that oversight should be shared with, or even shifted more so, to State regulators versus the much maligned federal agency.   In the case of Texas, that means our friends at the OCCC would be that ideal option. The highly experienced leadership […]

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CFPB and Mick Mulvaney focusing in on Debt Collectors

March 29, 2018
Thumbnail image for CFPB and Mick Mulvaney focusing in on Debt Collectors

It was in the news over the last 24 hours that Mick Mulvaney and the CFPB will be centering their focus on Debt Collectors who have traditionally been in the #1 position, as far as complaints go.  For over two years, it was discussed by the payday industry that our group was, month after month, […]

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OCCC’s 2016-2017 fiscal year data ahead of Finance Commission Meeting on Friday 10/20

November 8, 2017

OCCC and Finance Commission Report Information, Meeting is Friday 10/20 and will summarize data from September 0f 2016 to August of 2017. CAB Examinations:  Down from 707 in 2016 to 652 in 2017 (-7%). CAB acceptable level of compliance: 98.93%. Complaints processed payday: 208 in 2016 and 148 in 2017 (-28.8%). Complaints processed title: 198 […]

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CFPB issued the final Payday Loan Rule today

October 5, 2017

CFPB Rule came out today.  It is 1,600+ pages and I am hearing from folks on it but no one knows a lot at this point.  I need to start reading and as I connect with others to learn more I will of course relay what people are saying. Effective date is 21 months after […]

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Credit Access Businesses offering payday, installment, and title loans help US consumers avoid padding the banks fat pockets

October 3, 2017

So much time and effort is spent on attacking the “payday loan industry” it is baffling.  Why do consumer advocates and the CFPB refuse to make the banking industry Public Enemy #1 instead? See below for a shocking breakdown of how banks target and abuse US Consumers with un-godly annual revenue via Overdraft and NSF […]

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Texas OCCC issues advisory bulletin to licensees on how to remain in compliance while dealing with Harvey aftermath

September 8, 2017

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 […]

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The infamous and continuously failing Texas Payday Loan City Ordinance.

August 22, 2017

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 […]

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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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