Indiana Assets & Opportunity Network
Increasing Asset Acquisition for Low-Wealth Hoosiers

Policy

Network Policy

A&O Comments on Proposed Rule on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

Dear Director Kraninger,

We are contacting you in regards to the CFPB’s proposed rule on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Thank you for the opportunity to submit comments on this matter. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is critical to protecting consumers across the nation from abusive collection practices. However, we believe the newly proposed rule would protect debt collectors more than everyday American consumers. We urge the CFPB to protect consumers by promoting fair debt collection practices.

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Kathleen Taylor
SIGN-ON: Comment on the Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to Implement their Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)'s Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is critical to protecting consumers across the nation from abusive collection practices. However, the Network believes the newly proposed rule would protect debt collectors more than everyday American consumers. 

According to the National Consumer Law Center, the median debt owed by Hoosiers is $1,509; the majority of debt is related to medical expenses or student loans. In Indiana, 34 percent of all Hoosiers have a debt in collections. This figure balloons to 56 percent of Hoosiers with a debt in collections when viewed through the lens of those living in communities of color.

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Kathleen Taylor
Tell the CFPB to Protect Hoosier Consumers

Two years ago, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) rolled out new protections for consumers nationwide which required lenders to ensure a borrower could repay a loan before granting it (and only after a consumer has taken out six loans in one year). However, the tides are turning in favor of payday lenders. 

Under a new proposed CFPB rule, lenders would not be required to comply with this very modest protection for borrowers stuck in a cycle of debt. These loans undermine Hoosier consumers' financial security, taking direct access to borrowers' bank accounts and draining $60 million in fees alone from Indiana each year. We must work to reform predatory lending and lift our voices against the repeal of this common sense, urgently needed protection.

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Kathleen Taylor
WE DID IT! SENATE BILL 613 IS DEAD!

Legislators declined to vote on Senate Bill 613, a bill that would have devastated vulnerable Hoosier consumers with crippling interest rates on short-term loans,  effectively KILLING THE BILL!

This victory for Hoosier consumers would not have been possible without YOU! Your calls, letters, meetings with legislators, moving testimony, and questions at third house meetings made all the difference. THANK YOU FOR YOUR ADVOCACY!

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Kathleen Taylor
ACTION ALERT: SB 613 to Receive Hearing on Tuesday

The Network has received word that the House Financial Institutions Committee will hold a hearing on Senate Bill 613 this Tuesday, March 26 at 10:30 a.m.

The Network, along with a coalition of nearly 70 organizations, urges opposition to this bill that would bring about further financial peril for distressed borrowers, increasing their risk of bankruptcy, delinquency, and getting stuck in a spiral of debt.

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Kathleen Taylor
Policy Update: We Need Your Help to Stop SB 613

Now that Senate Bill 104 has been defeated on the senate floor, we have turned all of our attention to Senate Bill 613, which passed through the Senate and is now in the House. If passed, the bill would open the door even wider to payday and subprime lenders to offer new larger and longer-term loans at exceedingly high interest rates.

We cannot stop this bill without your help. 

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Kathleen Taylor
ACTION ALERT: Bills Harmful to Hoosier Consumers to Receive Hearings

The Network has received word the Senate Insurance and Financial Institutions Committee will hold a hearing on SB 587 on Wednesday, February 13, and the Senate Commerce and Technology Committee will likely hold a hearing on SB 613 on Thursday, February 21.

The Network does not support either bill and strongly believes both would harm Hoosier consumers. When paired with the CFPB's recent decision to gut the agency’s own consumer protections against predatory payday lenders, we believe Hoosier consumers are in grave danger.

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Kathleen Taylor
CFPB Move to Gut Payday Consumer Protections Will Harm Hoosier Families

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) moved to gut the agency’s own consumer protections against predatory payday lenders yesterday, leaving Hoosier families exposed to high interest rates of payday lenders. The Indiana Assets & Opportunity Network opposes this action and urges that the CFPB’s 2017 rule on predatory lending take effect as soon as possible.

“We were deeply disappointed to hear of the CFPB’s decision yesterday afternoon,” said Logan Charlesworth, Indiana Assets & Opportunity Network Manager. “But decisions like these from Washington remind us why passing legislation here in Indiana that will protect Hoosier families from falling into the predatory lending debt trap is so important.”

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Kathleen Taylor
ACTION ALERT: Hearing on SB 104 on January 23

On Wednesday, January 23, we believe the Senate Insurance and Financial Institutions Committee will hold a hearing on SB 104, a bill that would cap small dollar, short term loans at 36 percent APR.As a valued member of the Indiana Assets and Opportunity Network, you understand just how vital this hearing is to our ongoing efforts to stop the debt trap in the Hoosier State.

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Logan Charlesworth
Looking Forward: The Network in the New Year

The New Year is an opportunity to dream, reflecting on what has been and setting one’s sights on what could be. On an individual level, this may take the form of health, career, or financial goals. But we can and should think on a policy level, too. Where have we been, and what can and should the future hold?

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Kathleen Taylor
Voice Your Support for a 36 Percent APR Cap on Small Dollar Loans in Indiana

A large body of research demonstrates that high-cost loans create a long-term debt trap that drains consumers' bank accounts and causes significant financial harm, including delinquency and default, overdraft and non-sufficient funds fees, increased difficulty paying mortgages, rent, and other bills, loss of checking accounts and bankruptcy. Indiana currently has one of the highest bankruptcy rates in the country. A new report from the National Consumer Law Center found that in states that have implemented a rate cap, former payday borrowers feel they are better off without these loans. 

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Kathleen Taylor
Payday lending battle heats up at Indiana Statehouse

For nearly everything we consume, we rely on regulatory agencies to tell us what's safe and what's not. These regulations serve our needs and interests as consumers. Yet the past weeks have been rife with attempts to chip away at consumer protections on both the federal- and state-level. This is the continuation of a worrisome trend to end safeguards for vulnerable consumers.

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Kathleen Taylor
Tax Cuts & Jobs Act Passes the House and the Senate

It's been a tumultuous couple of months for tax bill writers and constituents alike. As lawmakers hurriedly drafted legislation behind closed doors, many Americans were biting their nails at the predicted impact the bill would have on their livelihoods, including possible tax hikes over the life of the Senate’s bill and cuts to vital public benefits programs in both House and Senate versions of the bill.

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Kathleen Taylor
Turning the tax code "right-side up": the wealthiest shouldn't take home an outsized share

Those of us who support asset development for low-wealth individuals and communities know that tax reform is needed. Each year, tax incentives support wealth development through homeownership, higher education, and retirement savings – but often, the bulk of these incentives go to those who need them least. This drives wealth inequality. For shared, broader prosperity, we need to turn the tax code right-side up.

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Kathleen Taylor
Mandatory Arbitration Clauses and Consumer Impact

You have probably signed one. Not too long ago, I signed one while securing a car loan. "I don't want to sign this," I said, when I saw the page titled "arbitration clause" laid down in front of me. "Is this negotiable?" "No," the loan officer responded, before assuring me that it would just make any disputes quicker and easier to resolve. 

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Kathleen Taylor