AFSA Members Tell Their Story on Capitol Hill

The 2016 edition of the American Financial Services Association (AFSA) Installment Lenders Summit brought traditional installment lenders from across the nation to Washington, DC on February 23-25. AFSA members met their congressional delegations to spread the word about the positive impact installment loans have on the American economy and in their communities. The summit kicked off with a keynote address from Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY) on Tuesday evening. The congressman, a member of the House Financial Services Committee (HFSC), touched on the important role access to affordable consumer credit plays in the lives of ordinary Americans.

Wednesday featured a packed schedule, including a variety of panels and sessions. The day opened with a panel discussion, moderated by Frank Salinger, featuring Reps. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) and Ander Crenshaw (R-FL), which focusing on the representatives' efforts to bring some accountability to the supervision and enforcement processes at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Luetkemeyer serves on the HFSC and Crenshaw is a member of the powerful Appropriations Committee.

David Silberman, Acting Deputy Director at the CFPB, outlined how the bureau was proceeding with its small-dollar lending rule and took several questions from AFSA members. AFSA Executive Vice President Bill Himpler also gave an update on the association's work with Congress and the CFPB.

A.B. Stoddard, Associate Editor of The Hill newspaper provided attendees with an informative political update and gave a snapshot of where the presidential and down-ballot races may be headed in 2016.

AFSA members then headed to Capitol Hill for meetings with their congressional representatives. The meetings focused on bringing the positive message of traditional installment lending to Capitol Hill and ensuring that there is a strong line of distinction between AFSA member financial products and other, less reputable ones. Members of Congress, their staffs and AFSA members then met for a reception to continue the discussion about the importance of positive consumer credit products.

Thursday kicked off with a presentation from Jack Ferry, Vice President of Communications with AFSA. Ferry's update focused on the public relations efforts the communications team is undertaking on behalf of AFSA members whose business model is installment lending.

Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum, briefed attendees on the think tank's recent survey regarding the consumer perception and understand of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act. The Summit closed with back-to-back presentations from John Redding, partner with BuckleySandler, and Patty Covington, partner with HudsonCook, on how AFSA members should be preparing for CFPB enforcement activity.