We've previously blogged several times (including here, here, here and here) about the new federal legislation regulating predatory lending to the military, known as the Military Lending Act or MLA (10 U.S.C. 987). Comments to the Defense Department's proposed regulations implementing the statute were due this week, and the docket is now overflowing with views from the entire gamut of the consumer credit industry, from banks to pawnshops, all seeking various carve-outs for their business. Here's a sampling of some of the other views:
- The other day, Jon Sheldon posted about the comments of the Center for Responsible Lending, National Consumer Law Center, and Consumer Federation of America, and other consumer groups.
- Public Citizen's comments, which you can read here, echo some of the policy arguments made in considerable depth in the NCLC/CRL/CFA comments, but emphasize an administrative-law approach, arguing that proposed regulations would be arbitrary and capricious and contrary to the MLA.
- Yesterday, I learned that the Federal Trade Commissionhas also filed comments that largely endorse the narrow scope of the proposed regulations. On the bright side, FTC specifically rejects the suggestion that the DOD should carve out banks from the regulations' coverage, noting that banks offer many of the same products that are covered by the regulations and that exempting them would create an enormous loophole in the law. The FTC specifically points to "the absence of market studies or other evidence that military consumers benefit when banks and similar entities engage in the practices that Congress generally found harmful."
- Our co-blogger Christopher Peterson, whose research informed the report that led to the legislation and who testified before Congress on the subject, filed comments that are accessible here.