October 1, 2019 — Issue Brief

On October 11, 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law AB 539, sponsored by Assembly member Monique Limon, which targets predatory long-term payday loans and limits the interest rates on loans of $2500 to $10,000. The following are quotes from the transcripts of August 2019 earnings calls by three publicly-traded payday lenders that offer high-cost installment loans in California at rates of 135% to 199% describing their plans to enter into rent-a-bank schemes to evade the new law. Banks are generally not subject to state interest rate limits, and in other states some payday lenders have used banks to originate loans that are them quickly assigned back to the payday lender, claiming that this arrangement permits high-rate loans. Litigation is pending challenging whether the banks are in fact the true lender and whether banks can assign their immunity from state laws to a state-regulated lender.