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VOL. 127 | NO. 13 | Friday, January 20, 2012

New Watchdog Agency Reviewing Payday Lending

JAY REEVES | Associated Press

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) – The Obama administration's new consumer protection agency is holding its first hearing in Alabama on payday lending, an industry that brings in some $7 billion a year in fees nationwide with relatively little federal oversight.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says testimony from the session held Thursday in Birmingham will help guide future regulations. Director Richard Cordray says the bureau recognizes the need for short-term loans, but the lending needs to help consumers, not harm them.

The agency has been in the spotlight because of Republican opposition to its formation and because of President Barack Obama's use of a recess appointment to install Cordray as director.

The bureau says about 19 million American households now have payday loans. It says lenders take in more than $7 billion annually in fees.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 90 140 15,764
MORTGAGES 100 162 18,210
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 8 21 2,426
BUILDING PERMITS 194 315 32,829
BANKRUPTCIES 57 116 10,129
BUSINESS LICENSES 25 50 5,228
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 35 64 6,213
MARRIAGE LICENSES 26 50 3,463

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