Legislation to opt out of a 43-year-old federal law allowing FDIC-insured state banks to “export” interest on interstate loans to the same extent as their national bank counterparts is quietly, but swiftly, working its way through the Colorado legislature.  The bill has passed the House and is expected to be the subject of a hearing next week before a Senate Committee.… Continue Reading

Using data for the last quarter of 2020 and first three quarters of 2021, the study examined the effects of the 36% rate cap imposed by the Illinois Predatory Loan Prevention Act which became effective in March 2021.  The study found that the cap significantly decreased the availability of small-dollar credit in Illinois. … Continue Reading

In a motion for a preliminary injunction and accompanying memorandum of points and authorities, the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) is asking a California state court to order fintech Opportunity Financial LLC (OppFi) to stop facilitating loans to California borrowers from its partner FinWise Bank at interest rates above the interest rate cap (generally 36% plus the Federal Funds Rate) imposed by the California Financing Law (CFL).… Continue Reading

A Texas federal court has dismissed a class action lawsuit against Opportunity Financial, LLC (“OppFi”) alleging OppFi violated Texas usury law by charging interest on loans it made through a partnership with a state-chartered bank at rates above the maximum rate permitted by Texas law.  The plaintiff alleges that the partnership was a “rent-a-bank” scheme to evade state law and that OppFi, rather than its bank partner, was the “true lender” on the loans.… Continue Reading

In a letter dated October 11, 2022 to Acting Comptroller Michael J. Hsu, Patrick McHenry, the ranking member of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services, and four other Republican representatives, asked Mr. Hsu to respond to pointed questions about the OCC’s planned role in support of bank-fintech partnerships. … Continue Reading

In a recent press release, the Pennsylvania Attorney General announced that settlements have been reached with Delaware and Florida lenders who made allegedly usurious loans to Pennsylvania residents.  In apparent support of the settlement, the press release cites the Third Circuit’s decision in TitleMax of Delaware, Inc. v. Weissman, in which an out-of-state lender unsuccessfully sought to enjoin the Pennsylvania Department of Banking from investigating loans made to Pennsylvania residents. … Continue Reading

A California state court has overruled the demurrer filed by Opportunity Financial, LLC (OppFi) to the cross-complaint filed by the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) in which OppFi asked the court to reject the DFPI’s “true lender” challenge.  In its cross-complaint, the DFPI alleges that California usury law applies to loans made through OppFi’s partnership with FinWise Bank (Bank) because OppFi, and not the Bank, was the “true lender.”… Continue Reading

The California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) has filed its opposition to Opportunity Financial, LLC’s (OppFi) Demurrer to the DFPI’s cross-complaint.  In the Demurrer, OppFi asks the California trial court to reject the DFPI’s attempt to apply California usury law to loans made through OppFi’s partnership with FinWise Bank (Bank) by alleging that OppFi is the “true lender” on the loans.… Continue Reading

Delivering the keynote address last week at the Consumer Federation of America’s 2022 Consumer Assembly, CFPB Deputy Director Zixta Martinez indicated that the CFPB “is taking a close look” at “‘rent-a-bank’ schemes.”

Deputy Director Martinez commented that “[s]ome lenders attempt to use [relationships with banks] to evade state interest rate caps and licensing laws by making claims that the bank, rather than the non-bank, is the lender.” … Continue Reading