According to the record, the company’s share of revenue and profit from Missouri declined slightly in the first nine months of 2014 compared to the previous year. The company’s general counsel Matt Wiltanger attributed the decline to the migration of customers online, to lenders who he says are often unlicensed and unregulated.
Wiltanger declined to discuss the company’s structured income, which had grown by 30% in the first nine months of 2014.
Payday lenders have long argued that demand for their products reflects a lack of access to other forms of credit, and cracking down on them won’t change the fact that millions of Americans are struggling to make ends meet. . Lenders have claimed that if changes in federal rules make loans unprofitable, it will eliminate the only means of borrowing for some consumers.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau does not have the ability to cap interest rates on loans, but it can take other actions. Fleming hopes the bureau will require lenders to consider a borrower’s ability to repay and take away the ability to access a borrower’s bank accounts, among other measures.
Last year, the Missouri legislature passed a bill that would have banned payday loan renewals and reduced any fees that could be charged. Consumer advocates said the bill was riddled with flaws and called it bogus reform. The lenders didn’t bother to lobby against it, and Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed it.