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国际资讯监管与政策

美国监管机构CFPB重拳整治发薪贷、车贷和“气球贷”

10月5日,美国消费者金融保护局(CFPB)出台新规,限制现金贷和车贷债务"陷阱"。该规定要求出借人放贷前评估借款人是否有能力还款。

一、美国人陷入了怎样的债务陷阱?

借钱之前评估借款人是否有能力还款似乎是件不需要怀疑的事,但CFPB认为,现金贷和车贷的出借人不是这么干的。经过五年的调查研究、在阅读了超过百万条反馈意见后,CFPB得出结论:发薪日贷款(注:原文为paydayloans,在中国与之略有接近的概念是"现金贷")和车贷(注:原文为autotitleloans)的商业模式建立在让借款人深陷债务泥潭之上。

受高企的费用所迫,借款人无力还款,只能违约、借新还旧或者动用自己的基本生活费(如购买食物和医疗保障的费用)。CFPB现任负责人RichardCordray援引了一些数据:

美国现在大约有16000家发薪日贷款店(包括在网络上运营的),它们运行在35个州。其他15个州和哥伦比亚地区由于有利率和费用限制,没有发薪日贷款店运行,这两种地区大概有9500万人。

1、短期内重复借款

--超过4/5的发薪日贷款会在一个月之内被复借,通常在贷款还款日或还款日之后不久(被复借);事实上,大约1/4的发薪日贷款初次借款人会复借9次,甚至更多次。借款人要偿还的费用远远超过一开始他们借出的费用。

--和发薪日贷款类似,绝大部分需要一次付清的车贷也会在到期之日或还款日智后不久被复借。

2、违约

--通常在一次复借后,1/5的发薪日贷款借款人和1/3的一次性还款车贷借款人最终会违约,采用"气球贷"(注:原文表述为balloon-paymentloans)还款方式的违约率更高。

3、车辆获取

--1/5的车贷借款人最后由于无法偿还债务被出借人拿走自己的汽车或卡车。

CFPB认为这一问题有"严重后果":这会影响到借款人去工作或者看病的能力。

4、罚金

--(如果借款期限在)18个月内,一半的发薪日贷款或者发薪日贷款-分期网贷借款人(的银行账户)被扣款(注:由于账户资金不足,这种扣款可能会失败)。这些借款人要承受约185美元的银行罚金,他们还要偿还出借人因此收取的一些费用,例如滞纳金或者还款费用。

5、账户关闭

CFPB发现如果借款人的在存款性金融机构的账户被扣款失败,36%的此类账户会被关闭。这通常发生在此类账户因为资金不足被扣款失败的90天以内。

CFPB认为不断的借新还旧让单一的难以偿还的债务变成了一个长期的债务陷阱,Cordrady称。他打了一个比方:这有点像搭上出租车穿越小镇,结果发现自己置身穿越国境的耗资巨大的旅途,还没有能退出的斜坡。

CFPB新规试图让这个恶性循环从一开始就停止:不要让债务从一开始就难以偿还。它决定把"板子"打在出借人身上:首先要评估借款人是否有能力还款。

二、新规规制对象

CFPB新规的规制对象是要求消费者一次性偿还全部或者大部分金额的贷款,包括发薪日贷款、一次性还款的车贷、存款预支产品和采用气球贷还款方式的长期借款。CFPB具体描述了新规的限制对象:

1、发薪日贷款

通常来说额度较小(Cordray称在500美元或更少),会在借款人获得薪水之前到期,期限通常是2到4个星期。昂贵,年化费率超过300%,甚至可以更高。贷款的一个条件是借款人填写延期支票来还款,或者允许出借人自动从自己的薪水账户扣款。

2、一次性还款的车贷

昂贵,期限短(通常在30以内或者更短)。但是为了获得这一贷款,借款人抵押了自己的汽车或者卡车。

3、"气球贷"

期限通常在45天以上,这种贷款前期每期还款额较小,在到期日还款金额较大,"前小后大",像"气球"。这种贷款通常还要求能调用借款人的银行账户或者车辆所有权。

三、新规措施

CFPB新规的措施相当详尽而有层次:

1、完全偿付能力测试

新规要求出借人评估借款人在借款期间和付款额最大的那次分期后的30天内是否有能力支付基本的生活开支和偿还主要的金融债务。

2、特定短期借款的本金偿付能力测试

对特定的短期借款,出借人可以采用这一测试来替代完全偿付能力测试。

3、风险较小的贷款选项

这些选项包括社区银行和信贷协会等机构提供的部分借款。这些选项也可以替代完全偿付能力测试。

4、报告要求

新规要求出借人向在CFPB注册的信用报告系统报告和获取(相关出借人的)信用信息来完成完全偿付能力测试或本金偿付能力测试。

出借人可以申请成为CFPB的注册信息系统,CFPB会予以认定。

作为消费者信用报告公司,这些注册信息系统要接受相关联邦法律的监管。出借人被要求汇报基本的贷款信息和这些信息的后续情况。

如果没有合适的注册信息系统,出借人无法从中获得借款人的信用报告,出借人也必须得检查(借款人在本机构的)记录。不过,如果没有合适的注册信息系统,本金偿付能力测试无法完成。

5、罚金费限制

这一限制针对的是能调用借款人支票或预支账户的年利率在36%以上的短期借款、气球贷或长期借款。

四、新规生效日期

在《联邦登记(FederalRegister)》发表21个月后,新规将会生效,允许注册为信息系统的条款生效时间更早。

所有提供新规所规制的放贷活动的银行、信贷协会、非银机构和这些机构的服务商都受新规规制。不管机构持有州的何种牌照,也不管它们是不是在线上经营、有没有实体网点,只要从事上述业务,都受CFPB新规规制。

整体看来,CFPB新规体现出功能监管和行为监管的监管精神。

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) today finalized a rule that is aimed at stopping payday debt traps by requiring lenders to determine upfront whether people can afford to repay their loans. These strong, common-sense protections cover loans that require consumers to repay all or most of the debt at once, including payday loans, auto title loans, deposit advance products, and longer-term loans with balloon payments. The Bureau found that many people who take out these loans end up repeatedly paying expensive charges to roll over or refinance the same debt. The rule also curtails lenders’ repeated attempts to debit payments from a borrower’s bank account, a practice that racks up fees and can lead to account closure.

“The CFPB’s new rule puts a stop to the payday debt traps that have plagued communities across the country,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “Too often, borrowers who need quick cash end up trapped in loans they can’t afford. The rule’s common sense ability-to-repay protections prevent lenders from succeeding by setting up borrowers to fail.”

Payday loans are typically for small-dollar amounts and are due in full by the borrower’s next paycheck, usually two or four weeks. They are expensive, with annual percentage rates of over 300 percent or even higher. As a condition of the loan, the borrower writes a post-dated check for the full balance, including fees, or allows the lender to electronically debit funds from their checking account. Single-payment auto title loans also have expensive charges and short terms usually of 30 days or less. But for these loans, borrowers are required to put up their car or truck title for collateral. Some lenders also offer longer-term loans of more than 45 days where the borrower makes a series of smaller payments before the remaining balance comes due. These longer-term loans – often referred to as balloon-payment loans – often require access to the borrower’s bank account or auto title.

These loans are heavily marketed to financially vulnerable consumers who often cannot afford to pay back the full balance when it is due. Faced with unaffordable payments, cash-strapped consumers must choose between defaulting, re-borrowing, or skipping other financial obligations like rent or basic living expenses such as buying food or obtaining medical care. Many borrowers end up repeatedly rolling over or refinancing their loans, each time racking up expensive new charges. More than four out of five payday loans are re-borrowed within a month, usually right when the loan is due or shortly thereafter. And nearly one-in-four initial payday loans are re-borrowed nine times or more, with the borrower paying far more in fees than they received in credit. As with payday loans, the CFPB found that the vast majority of auto title loans are re-borrowed on their due date or shortly thereafter.

The cycle of taking on new debt to pay back old debt can turn a single, unaffordable loan into a long-term debt trap. The consequences of a debt trap can be severe. Even when the loan is repeatedly re-borrowed, many borrowers wind up in default and getting chased by a debt collector or having their car or truck seized by their lender. Lenders’ repeated attempts to debit payments can add significant penalties, as overdue borrowers get hit with insufficient funds fees and may even have their bank account closed.

Rule to Stop Debt Traps

The CFPB rule aims to stop debt traps by putting in place strong ability-to-repay protections. These protections apply to loans that require consumers to repay all or most of the debt at once. Under the new rule, lenders must conduct a “full-payment test” to determine upfront that borrowers can afford to repay their loans without re-borrowing. For certain short-term loans, lenders can skip the full-payment test if they offer a “principal-payoff option” that allows borrowers to pay off the debt more gradually. The rule requires lenders to use credit reporting systems registered by the Bureau to report and obtain information on certain loans covered by the proposal. The rule allows less risky loan options, including certain loans typically offered by community banks and credit unions, to forgo the full-payment test. The new rule also includes a “debit attempt cutoff” for any short-term loan, balloon-payment loan, or longer-term loan with an annual percentage rate higher than 36 percent that includes authorization for the lender to access the borrower’s checking or prepaid account. The specific protections under the rule include:

Full-payment test: Lenders are required to determine whether the borrower can afford the loan payments and still meet basic living expenses and major financial obligations. For payday and auto title loans that are due in one lump sum, full payment means being able to afford to pay the total loan amount, plus fees and finance charges within two weeks or a month. For longer-term loans with a balloon payment, full payment means being able to afford the payments in the month with the highest total payments on the loan. The rule also caps the number of loans that can be made in quick succession at three.

Principal-payoff option for certain short-term loans: Consumers may take out a short-term loan of up to $500 without the full-payment test if it is structured to allow the borrower to get out of debt more gradually. Under this option, consumers may take out one loan that meets the restrictions and pay it off in full. For those needing more time to repay, lenders may offer up to two extensions, but only if the borrower pays off at least one-third of the original principal each time. To prevent debt traps, these loans cannot be offered to borrowers with recent or outstanding short-term or balloon-payment loans. Further, lenders cannot make more than three such loans in quick succession, and they cannot make loans under this option if the consumer has already had more than six short-term loans or been in debt on short-term loans for more than 90 days over a rolling 12-month period. The principal-payoff option is not available for loans for which the lender takes an auto title as collateral.

Less risky loan options: Loans that pose less risk to consumers do not require the full-payment test or the principal-payoff option. This includes loans made by a lender who makes 2,500 or fewer covered short-term or balloon-payment loans per year and derives no more than 10 percent of its revenue from such loans. These are usually small personal loans made by community banks or credit unions to existing customers or members. In addition, the rule does not cover loans that generally meet the parameters of “payday alternative loans” authorized by the National Credit Union Administration. These are low-cost loans which cannot have a balloon payment with strict limitations on the number of loans that can be made over six months. The rule also excludes from coverage certain no-cost advances and advances of earned wages made under wage-advance programs offered by employers or their business partners.

Debit attempt cutoff: The rule also includes a debit attempt cutoff that applies to short-term loans, balloon-payment loans, and longer-term loans with an annual percentage rate over 36 percent that includes authorization for the lender to access the borrower’s checking or prepaid account. After two straight unsuccessful attempts, the lender cannot debit the account again unless the lender gets a new authorization from the borrower. The lender must give consumers written notice before making a debit attempt at an irregular interval or amount. These protections will give consumers a chance to dispute any unauthorized or erroneous debit attempts, and to arrange to cover unanticipated payments that are due. This should mean fewer consumers being debited for payments they did not authorize or anticipate, or charged multiplying fees for returned payments and insufficient funds.

The CFPB developed the payday rule over five years of research, outreach, and a review of more than one million comments on the proposed rule from payday borrowers, consumer advocates, faith leaders, payday and auto title lenders, tribal leaders, state regulators and attorneys general, and others. The final rule does not apply ability-to-repay protections to all of the longer-term loans that would have been covered under the proposal. The CFPB is conducting further study to consider how the market for longer-term loans is evolving and the best ways to address concerns about existing and potential practices. The CFPB also made other changes in the rule in response to the comments received. These changes include adding the new provisions for the less risky options. The Bureau also streamlined components of the full-payment test and refined the approach to the principal-payoff option.

The rule takes effect 21 months after it is published in the Federal Register, although the provisions that allow for registration of information systems take effect earlier. All lenders who regularly extend credit are subject to the CFPB’s requirements for any loan they make that is covered by the rule. This includes banks, credit unions, nonbanks, and their service providers. Lenders are required to comply regardless of whether they operate online or out of storefronts and regardless of the types of state licenses they may hold. These protections are in addition to existing requirements under state or tribal law.


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