Subcommittees Hold Key Hearings on Small-Dollar, Auto Lending

Two House Financial Services Committee (HFSC) subcommittees held hearings of interest this week for AFSA members.

On Tuesday, the Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions Subcommittee conducted a hearing, “Ending the Debt Traps in the Payday and Small Dollar Credit Industry.” AFSA submitted a letter to the subcommittee touting the benefits of traditional installment loans. The focus of the hearing was very much on payday loans.

Installment lenders were not referenced. However, subcommittee members did express views that loans above 36% were predatory. AFSA will use this hearing as an opportunity to meet with committee members who are open-minded and advocate for sound research on the small-dollar lending market.

Yesterday, the Oversight and Investigations subcommittee conducted a hearing, “Examining Discrimination in the Automobile Lending and Insurance Industries.” AFSA also submitted a letter to the committee clarifying that vehicle finance companies treat all individuals fairly and equitably in the financing and servicing processes. The hearing was sparsely attended. Many of the questions asked were about insurance, not auto lending.

AFSA has met several times with Congressional member offices on both topics and will continue to stay in communication.