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Letter

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a government agency specifically created to defend the little guy against financial fraud and predatory lenders, wants to roll back protections for payday loan borrowers.

Payday lenders charge exorbitant interest rates above 700% APR — for comparison, the highest APR for credit cards is 36%. They bury this in confusing contracts and emotional appeals, and specifically target people in desperate situations, convincing them they have no other option left.

Payday lenders turn profit off of tricking people, especially the poor and vulnerable. And now the CFPB wants to give them a massive handout, essentially rewarding their cruel behavior. This is what happens when an industry with deep pockets hires an army of lobbyists. But the government officials who would approve these rollbacks still work for the rest of us.

Even though these products are illegal in Montana, lenders continue to target us online. We need the CFPB to hold these bad actors accountable.

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The CFPB is taking comments on their proposal until May 15. I urge you to tell the bureau to reconsider its proposal. It’s time for a government that cares when people are ripped off. Make a comment at stoppaydaypredators.org.

Nadine Smith,

Billings

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