Update on Senate Bill 1247

by The CAB Man Texas on March 21, 2013

As of yesterday it looks like Senator John Carona’s Senate Bill 1247 is going to need some additional tweaks to get support from advocates and the payday industry in Texas. Much of the bill has components that are acceptable in the eyes of the payday industry, however there is one rule that would be particularly damaging to small business owners, and that’s the “only one loan” rule.

The bill says that a consumer may have only 1 payday loan out and 1 auto title loan out at any given time with a CAB in Texas. This rule will not allow a consumer to go out and get a lower priced loan, it will decrease competition in the marketplace, and it ultimately result in consumers taking out larger loans than they currently do today. And the big kicker – THEY WILL JUST GET A LOAN ON THE INTERNET IF THEY CANNOT GET ANOTHER ONE FROM A TEXAS CAB!

Imagine this scenario: on Monday a consumer realizes they need to get an advance on their paycheck. The consumer happens to be in Ft. Worth for work, so he/she goes to a local Payday store and completes a quick cash advance. The consumer qualifies for up to $500 but they only need $200 so they take out only $200. Then, later that week one of his/her children falls down at school in Dallas and needs stitches on their chin, the co-pay at urgent care is $150, so they need another $150 cash advance so ideally they would go down the street from their house in Dallas where they live to get it. But, the cannot do this under the “only one loan” rule. The “only one loan” rule would force the consumer to drive back to Ft. Worth 35 miles through traffic where they do not live and get the additional $150 advanced to them from that one location where they are now committed to exclusively. That would be an absurd thing to imagine and it is what will result with a rule like this. So instead what the consumer will do is grab their smart phone out of their pocket, pull up Google, and search for “payday loan.” Thousands of results will pop up on the screen and the consumer will have the $150 deposited in their bank account the next morning by an Indian Tribe payday loan company out of Montana. What just happened in that scenario is the “only one loan” rule failed, the consumer got the loan anyway, and Senate Bill 1247 resulted in a loss of revenue for a Texas business. The “only one loan” rule will result in store closings, and Texas will lose jobs. In the end it will not curb consumer use. This rule has been employed in Florida and Washington with those exact results – look it up or call me to discuss.

The reality that many consumer advocates cannot get their heads around is that if all Credit Access Businesses were to close up shop in Texas, it would not result in consumers being protected more. The consumer would go to the internet and get a loan from a non-Texas business. Many of the internet payday lenders offering services to Texans would be Indian Tribes who are unregulated and unlicensed. So, what’s the point? If closing down the industry and causing Texans to lose their jobs while sending business outside the state lines is your goal – then put the “only one loan” rule into action.

What consumer advocates need to address is that the payday industry is a by-product of consumer need. It is not a shiny toy that evil-doers invented in a back alley to take advantage of low income minorities. Payday industry leaders are serving a need and help many consumers in a positive way each day. The members of the CAB Consulting lobbying group and CSAT are willing to work with Senator Carona on many of the measures in the latest version of Senate Bill 1247. Aside from the “only one loan” rule the bill would be acceptable for most CABs in Texas, and it would put in place additional structure that makes sense to a certain degree if we “have to” have it.

Consumer advocates proved yesterday in the Senate Business & Commerce Committee Hearing that they will never be satisfied, and that their argument is based on emotion. What is at risk if you are their group is that no bill will pass at all. In Texas, Senators and House Representatives are intelligent business minded people. If the consumer advocates don’t stay focused on the realities of business and the consumer need, they will lose the attention of lawmakers and they will end up having to wait until the next legislative session in 2015 to be a part of the conversation again.

If Senate Bill 1247 is going to have a chance, let’s shape it by keeping only the measures that provide meaningful structure to the loan products. As a guiding rule – let’s make sure that Texas businesses can keep their doors open and that competition dictates programs being offered. If a rule in a bill cannot pass that test then it should not be in the bill.

Michael Brown of CAB Consulting testified at the Senate Business & Commerce Committee Hearing on March 19th and conveyed many of the points above. If you would like to speak with him about any of these issues he may be reached at 214-293-8676, or via email at Michael@CreditAccessBusiness.com.

Click here for a PDF of the latest version of SB 1247! SB.1247.Updated.March.19th

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Jer at Trihouse Consulting March 24, 2013 at 11:55 pm

Micheal, you make excellent points here. The Texas legislature will not successfully enforce the “1 loan” rule. If China, North Korea and Iraq cannot contain their digital borders, what chance does Texas have? Zip… nada… none. Additionally, would Texas implement a border enforcement program with TX agents searching for loan documents in vehicles crossing the state border?

What’s next for Texans, 1 credit card? One insurance policy? Then one Starbucks/day because they make Texans chubby?

Finally, why attck payday and car title lenders. Did you hear what former Providan Bank exec. Mehta said about the “underbanked?”

“Because none of you are smart enough,” concludes Mehta. “You make the stupid laws and I’ll comply and I’ll make money. . . . There are always some desperate people who will take the product. Lending money to people is never a difficult exercise. OK? People will take money if you’re willing to give it to them.”

I think General Patton said it best, “NUTS!”

Jer – Trihouse

Reply

admin March 24, 2013 at 11:59 pm

Jer, thanks for the positive feedback. My Team and I at CreditAccessBusiness.com will stay on top of this and immediately inform all of those interested parties via our free Newsletter:

Reply

Martin March 25, 2013 at 12:11 am

Thank you, Texas! We are offshore payday loan and car title lenders. We sincerely appreciate all the new business you’ll be sending to us via the internet :o)

Reply

admin March 25, 2013 at 12:12 am

“This will not stand.”

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: