- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 13, 2015

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange on Thursday sent a letter to the Obama administration’s newest federal agency opposing new regulations that would shutter the doors on payday lenders.

Mr. Strange joins a chorus of Congressional Republicans and Democrats who are challenging the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the new financial oversight agency championed by President Obama and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts Democrat.

The agency has proposed new rules that seek to regulate payday lenders frequently used for banking services by minority groups, the poor and the elderly who need short-term emergency loans.

In his letter, reviewed by The Washington Times, Mr. Strange wrote that he is concerned about the proposals for storefront consumer lenders, pointing out that the CFPB itself has acknowledged that the new regulations would force some lenders to close.

“These statements are worrying because recent research indicates that payday loans can play a beneficial role for some consumers,” he wrote. “Eliminating the product will not eliminate the demand for it.”

Mr. Strange questioned why the CFPB is moving to regulate storefront lenders at all.

“Consumer financial protection has long been the prerogative of state regulation. But the CFPB’s proposal would alter that balance by preempting a broad range of state rules tailored to local credit markets,” Mr. Strange wrote.



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