Cuccinelli’s Payday from Predatory Lenders

Cuccinelli’s Payday from Predatory Lenders

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Ken Cuccinelli’s recent campaign contribution from payday lender Ace Cash Express is nothis first–nor is it likely to be his last from the predatory industry. He’s collected at least $27,000 from the payday loan industry over last 10 years. Predatory lenders likely aren’t disappointed with their return on the investment. In 2010, Attorney General Cuccinelli issued an opinion exempting predatory lenders from stricter regulations. In 2008, he was the ONLY member of the State Senate who didn’t vote on legislation to cap exorbitant payday interest rates.

We wouldn’t be surprised to see more contributions to Cuccinelli from the predatory lending industry during this campaign. This payday to play politics has certainly paid off in the past for the predatory industry. See below for the facts.

Cuccinelli Previously Collected $27,400 from Payday Industry

In March 2011, an editorial in the Virginian Pilot noted, “He has collected $27,400 from predatory lending companies over the past decade, according to the Virginia Public Access Project.” [Virginian Pilot Editorial, 3/09/11]

Cuccinelli Issued Opinion Exempting Payday Loan Centers from Stricter Regulations

In June 2010, Cuccinelli issued a formal opinion stating local governing bodies could provide a “special exception of special permit use” designation to payday loan centers.

Such a designation would spare payday loan centers from being held to the same standards as banks and credit unions.

The opinion was issued in response to Del. Glenn Oder (R-Newport News). Office of the Attorney General, Opinion 6/23/10

NOTE: Oder has been at the forefront of tightening regulations on payday lenders

Cuccinelli was the Only Member of the Senate to Not Vote on Legislation to Cap Exorbitant Payday Lending Interest Rates

In April 2008, Cuccinelli was the only member of the state Senate to abstain from voting on bipartisan legislation to cap exorbitant interest rates charged by pay day lenders.

According to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, the bill would cap interest rates at 36 percent, extend the time borrowers have to repay loans, and limit to ten the number of loans that may be obtained in a year.  The bill would also require the creation of a database to track borrowers and loans and allow lenders to charge a $5 fee per loan to pay for the creation and maintenance of the system.

The bill was the result of three years of negotiation and passed the Senate 38-0-1 (abstention) and the House 90-7 and was signed into law. SB 588, Vote 4/23/08; Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, General Assembly Preliminary Legislative Report 2008

Received $1,000 from Payday Lender Ace Cash Express

According to Cuccinelli’s campaign finance report filed January 15, 2013, he received $1,000 from Ace Cash Express located at 1231 Greenway Drive in Irving, Texas.

Ace Cash Express is a payday lender. Cuccinelli Financial Report, Filed 1/15/13; Ace Cash Express website, accessed 1/15/13

Ace Cash Express Typically Charges Consumers 15 to 17 Percent Interest

According to US News and World Report, “Here’s how the industry works: At payday lending centers (examples include Advance America and ACE Cash Express) throughout the country, workers can come in and take out loans. Typically, interest is between $15 and $17 per $100 borrowed. Loan recipients agree to pay back the money when they receive their next paycheck.” US News and World Report, 1/28/10

Ace Cash Express Faced 20 Lawsuits and 96 Consumer Complaints in Home State of Texas

In April 2010, WFAA Dallas reported, “ACE Cash Express, an Irving-based company that makes payday loans and cash advances, faces at least 20  lawsuits in state court over its debt collection practices, and 96 similar complaints with the Texas Attorney General’s office.” WFAA Dallas, 4/28/10

Consumer Federation of America: Payday Lenders Strip Money away from Families

“Payday {lending} just strips money out of the scarce resources of families that live paycheck to paycheck,” says Jean Ann Fox, the director of consumer protection for the Consumer Federation of America. US News and World Report, 1/28/10

  • Jim B

    How did a guy like Cuccinelli end up in Va? He would be more at home in NY with those old guys that like to rub each other out.