New York State Assembly Proposes Online Lending Task Force

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On June 2nd, the New York Assembly drafted its answer to the recent joint-committee hearing on online lending. It’s called Bill A8260, an ACT to establish a task force on online lending institutions. As it’s proposed now, the task force would include individuals from the online lending community, the small business community, the financial services industry, and the consumer protection community that would be appointed by the Assembly, Senate and Governor.

The task force would be required to present a report on the following by April 15, 2018:

(a) an analysis of data received by the department of financial services on the prevalence of these institutions in the state, specifically, how many online lenders are lending to consumers and small businesses in this state;

(b) an analysis of data received by the attorney general and division of consumer affairs regarding the number of complaints, actions and investigations related to online lending institutions;

(c) an examination of the online lending industry and the key participants therein, and an investigation and understanding of the differences in small business and consumer borrowers, lenders and markets, such as the history, business models and practices of online lending institutions including identification of interest rates charged by online lenders;

(d) an examination of how consumers are utilizing online consumer credit to manage existing debt, potentially reduce borrowing costs or access needed funds;

(e) an examination of the existing small business credit gap and small business’ use of credit and credit needs;

(f) identification of alternatives for consumers and small businesses who are unable to access traditional financing and whether new technologies can enhance access to credit;

(g) an examination of whether existing federal and state laws already provide appropriate police powers and regulation of small business and consumer lending by online lending institutions;

(h) an evaluation of the impact of any contemplated or proposed law or regulation on the small business credit gap, including a quantitative analysis of the amount of increased or decreased credit available to small businesses as a result of such law or regulation, including the extent to which access to credit would be affected under the state’s current usury laws;

(i) an analysis of the potential interaction of federal law with any contemplated or proposed state regulation;

(j) an exploration of options for multi-state collaboration to harmonize the laws and regulations of various states related to small business and consumer lending across state borders;

(k) an assessment of best practices for small business and consumer loan disclosures, including current online lending industry efforts to advanced standardized and clear information for borrowers;

(l) an assessment of whether consumer loans and small business loans are treated differently by online lending institutions and if any level of oversight should take such differences into consideration;

(m) an identification of what consumer protections exist to protect consumers in this state from predatory practices of online lending institutions; and

(n) a determination of what new measures, if any, are needed to ensure consumers are protected from deceptive or predatory lending without unduly restricting access to credit.

Once the report is delivered, the task force would be disbanded. The bill is currently in committee.

Last modified: June 5, 2017

Category: Regulation

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