Federal Nonbank Charter Legislation Faces Opposition from State AGs

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On October 5, forty-one state attorneys general (state AGs) reasserted their interest in enforcing state laws regulating short-term, small dollar lenders, including payday lenders. The National Association of State Attorneys General sent a letter to the leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate urging them to oppose H.R. 6139, the Consumer Credit Access, Innovation, and Modernization Act. As previously reported, the Act, introduced by Reps. Luetkemeyer (R-MO) and Baca (D-CA), would allow the OCC to establish a federal charter for certain nonbanks. The state AGs charge that H.R. 6139 would preempt state laws governing consumer lending and generally would undermine states’ authority with regard to consumer protection enforcement. The state AGs acknowledge that the bill would allow them to enforce violations of federal law, but argue that state laws designed for local markets would be preempted and the state AGs’ ability to target abuses as they emerge would be impaired. During a July hearing on the legislation, the OCC and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors also expressed opposition to the legislation.