PAYDAY LENDER: Attorney General Rutledge wants to help them avoid federal regulation. She wouldn't stop this one, though a new state law finally did..

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge continues her push with other Republican state legal officers to reduce the powers of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

I’ll give you her full release, but here’s a translation:


She says the rules are bad for lenders, including those making payday loans. Rutledge is on the side of payday lenders and not consumers, in other words. But we knew that. She refused to act when a renegade payday lender reopened for business in Arkansas. She opposes class action lawsuits under consumer protection law, preferring mediation agreements that favor lenders. The likelihood of the attorney general using her consumer protection power for class action lawsuits on behalf of people damaged by mortgage, automobile, payday and other lenders would appear to be almost nil.

Example: CFPB explains here its effort to end the “debt traps” of payday loans that sometimes carry effective interest rates of 300 percent and victimize people who’ll never be able to pay off the loans. Rutledge deems this sort of rule-making bad for business. Consumers?  Rutledge doesn’t fight for them when it comes to payday loans, though Sen. Jason Rapert rose to their defense and succeeded where Rutledge wouldn’t even try.


Her statement:

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has written to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Mick Mulvaney urging him to direct the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of all recent and pending Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) rules.

“Many of the rules and regulations that have been promulgated by the CFPB since its creation have pre-empted state law and made it harder for business owners to grow jobs,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “The OMB should ensure that regulations are consistent with applicable law, properly consider and balance the costs and benefits and minimize the unnecessary burdens. I urge Director Mulvaney to conduct this review as soon as possible.”

Rutledge, who met with CFPB Director Richard Cordray in Little Rock last summer, has previously expressed concern with the CFPB’s new federal standards for – and limitations on – credit lines, installment loans, deposit advances, automobile-title secured loans and payday loans, as well as the Bureau’s Arbitration rule. In March, Rutledge filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit arguing that the CFPB is unconstitutional and that Director Cordray should be subject to political appointment.

In the letter to Director Mulvaney, Rutledge notes that a 1993 executive order requires that “significant regulatory actions” be submitted for review to OIRA for an analysis on the cost-benefit analysis and risk assessment. “Significant actions” include an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more, interference with an action or planned action of another agency, materially altering the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants user fees or other loan programs or raising legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates.

Led by the South Carolina Attorney General, Rutledge is joined on the letter by attorneys general from Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.