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Oregon Payday Loans and Lending

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The Portland Tribune ran an excellent news story on the current status of Oregon payday lending and on Internet payday lending (and lenders):

Internet payday lenders flout new law: Oregon law capping rates ignored by many online lenders, by Steve Law, The Portland Tribune, Oct 15, 2009

Excerpts:

“… says he found the online rates were double the amount charged at his neighborhood payday lender, and he never proceeded with the loan. Nevertheless, Tim was hounded by more than 100 e-mails and numerous phone calls from online lenders seeking to loan him money.

Disregarding law

Six Internet-based payday lenders have obtained licenses to make legal loans to Oregonians, but there are “hundreds” more out there that haven’t, says Mike McCord, a state regulator who monitors payday lenders.

Online lenders typically deposit the loan money in an applicant’s checking account within a day, and then retrieve the loan, plus interest and fees, via an electronic withdrawal after the borrower’s paycheck is deposited.

To loan money here, payday lenders must get state licenses and meet Oregon lending limits, regardless of where they are located.

“They don’t even pay any attention to that,” says McCord, financial services program manager for the state Division of Finance and Corporate Securities. “It’s hard to run these guys down, especially when they’re out of the country.”

The growth of online lenders appears to be “a way to subvert state law,” Martin says. That points to the need for national legislation and the new Consumer Financial Protection Agency supported by President Obama, she says.

Judging from complaints filed with state regulators, the laws are working. Before, frequent complaints were filed against payday lenders, regardless of where they were located, regulators say. But in the first eight months of this year, 62 consumer complaints were filed against online payday lenders, and only one against a storefront payday lender….

“If you make a loan to someone in Oregon, you have to follow the state law,” says Lisa Morawski, communication director for the state Department of Consumer and Business Services.

The state issued a “cease and desist” order to one company in Las Vegas that was violating the law. Several other companies are under investigation, Morawski says….

Payday loan customers in Oregon are advised to use a licensed lender, who is more likely to adhere to state law, says Lisa Morawski, communications director for the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services.

Borrowers may check the state’s on-line list of licensed payday lenders at www4.cbs.state.or.us/ex/dfcs/finsearch, or by calling 503-947-7844.” (read full article)

If you have your own questions and worries about payday loans, contact the

1) Oregon Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division and Hotline
2) Division of Finance and Corporate Securities
3) Department of Consumer and Business Services

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