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

by The CAB Man Texas on 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 closures in the City.  They still take up this reckless cause with Consumer Advocate and Church Groups by giving them a full and open forum to wage the war against the businesses that offer these loans and the people who need them.  The Ordinance raises payment amounts.  How does that help?  And the Chronicle looks the other way when this article’s authors say they do not want to put us out of business? Are they saying that with a straight face or with a wink and a smile?

So here is something new.  The 180-day limit on loans is something that Rep. Dan Flynn asked the Attorney General to look at, as it can be a limiting rule that restricts credit in a way that is unattractive to consumers.  The article stated that “At the close of the 85th Texas legislative session, an opinion request was submitted to the Attorney General to loosen restrictions in the Texas Finance Code for payday and auto title businesses that would allow for payment of loans to go beyond the 180-day limit that is clearly stated in the law.”  It went on to also say that “If the limit is lifted, payday and auto title lenders will only be required to guarantee that the arrangement of the loan is completed in 180 days, essentially expanding the length of the loan payback period indefinitely.”

Here comes the artful stroke of the brush: “Opening the door to longer-term loans would be a “devastating” blow to the hard-working, lower-income Texans who use these loans to cover basic needs, such as food, shelter and clothing.”  No.  Longer term loans mean more time to pay the loan back and lower payments.  More time to pay back means more flexibility and ability for the average borrower to manage their finances.  Lower payments mean more choices and less defaults.  How exactly is that going to be “devastating?” 

And then the qualifying disclaimer: “Our goal is not to put the payday and auto title lending industries out of business, but to ensure that reasonable regulations are in place to protect those most in need of the loans.”  (Ok, riiiiggghhht.  Grownups know better unfortunately.  These people want us out of business.

Here is the deal – Texas Credit Access Businesses have to fight and scrap every single day against people who are working to put us out of business via “thoughtful, meaningful, modest, additional restrictions.” It comes from all angles across the State and media outlets like the Houston Chronicle take up the cause without any word from our side whatsoever.  So, what happens?  41% of Credit Access Businesses in Texas close in a 4-year period.  There were 3,500 in 2013 now there are about 2,100.  With this 180-day rule, it is an issue for us that would help our CABs and customers.

Are the people who wrote and supported this article satisfied with the successful implementation of “thoughtful, meaningful, modest, additional restrictions” in the Payday Loan City Ordinance? No way – they still offer up their opinions on websites and newspapers and enjoy a wide-open forum to instill their false narrative.  These groups will not be satisfied until loans are free and that is no endorsement of the “American Way,” it is more Socialism than anything else.

This article was written and supported by people who want to shut us down.  And for some more fun, check out the hypocrisy below, the United Way accepted money from Texas Credit Access Businesses, $30,000 in fact.  Yet they are one of the groups we have seen bring on the hate speech at multiple City Ordinance hearings at City Council meetings across the State. I mean they really go for it – they HATE us and want others to think we are the devil reincarnated!

  • Anna Babin, President and CEO of the United Way of Greater Houston. (United Way accepted a $30,000 grant from Texas CABs! We can’t be all that bad, can we?)
  • Cardinal DiNardo is a Cardinal overseeing the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.
  • Stephen M. Fraga of Tejas Office Products Inc.
  • Irma Diaz-Gonzalez of E.T.C. Inc.
  • Lynne Liberato, chair of United Way THRIVE. (United Way accepted a $30,000 grant from Texas CABs! We can’t be all that bad, can we?)
  • Ping Sun of Yetter Coleman.
  • Dr. Steve Wells of South Main Baptist Church.

Here is the link to the press release about the $30,000 grants from Texas Credit Access Businesses to the United Way:

http://www.tfee.texas.gov/TFEE%20Grant%20Award%20Press%20Release.pdf 

Here is the link to the Houston Chronicle piece: 

http://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/outlook/article/Babin-DiNardo-State-should-not-loosen-payday-11209628.php

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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