El Paso Times: Survey: Payday lenders of poor record of information disclosure

January 14, 2014

William J. White, the man who acts both as a payday lender and the state’s top consumer watchdog, might think customers take on his company’s high-interest loans with their eyes wide open.

But independent surveys of Texas payday-lending and title-loan businesses indicate that payday lenders have a poor record of disclosing information about the loans as required by Texas law and industry standards.

Those businesses include White’s own company. A follow-up visit to one of its stores confirmed that the violations were as recent as last week.

Visits to 52 El Paso payday lenders in fall 2012 revealed that most payday lenders did not post a legally required warning, were inconsistent in reporting interest rates and did not allow borrowers to review loan contracts until they filled out an application that gave lenders access to their bank accounts.

Surveys conducted in Dallas and Austin during the spring and summer of 2012 found that payday lenders in those cities also had a poor record of following Texas disclosure laws.

Read more here.