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State agency willing to keep secrets of payday-lending industry

Charlotte Bankruptcy Lawyer Bryan W. Stone of Arnold & Smith, PLLC answers the question “Can I get credit after filing personal bankruptcy?”


The Constitution of the United States spells out certain limited powers to be exercised by the federal government. All other governmental powers are reserved to the states.

Check Cashing Charlotte Bankruptcy Lawyer North Carolina Chapter 7 AttorneyThis concept—called “Federalism”—has no shortage of supporters and critics, and ever since our country’s founding, We the People have borne witness to a perpetual tug-of-far between the states and federal government over the exercise of power.

Regardless of a person’s perspective on Federalism, states have and still do wield enormous power to protect and promote the interests and welfare of their citizens. One power the State of South Dakota exercises in order to protect its citizens is the regulation and licensing of payday lenders.

According to Investopedia, payday loans are short-term loans wherein the borrower writes a check to the lender, in exchange for cash. The lender holds the check until the borrower’s next payday, then cashes it. Payday loans are frowned upon by consumer advocates and numerous states—including the State of North Carolina, where payday lending is prohibited—because payday lenders typically charge high interest rates. South Dakota is trying to cap payday-loan interest rates in the Mount Rushmore State at thirty-six percent.

A team of researchers from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee and the University of Oxford in England conducted a study of payday loan applicants and bankruptcy filings in the United States in 2007 and 2008, and concluded that borrowers whose payday-loan applications were approved were significantly more likely to file for bankruptcy pursuant to Chapter 13 of the United States Bankruptcy Code than those borrowers whose loan applications were denied. In general, the researchers concluded that payday loans had a deleterious effect on borrowers’ financial affairs.

States regulating payday lenders have taken a generally consumer-protectionist approach to regulations and licensing. That makes it all the more surprising that South Dakota’s Division of Banking has denied the Sioux Falls Argus Leader’s request for copies of license applications of payday lenders. Bret Afdahl, the director of the agency, told the Argus Leader the records had to be kept secret in order to encourage putative payday lenders to be forthcoming on their applications.

The Argus Leader also requested records of complaints received by the agency since January 1, 2014. The Division of Banking denied that request as well, claiming that the records were not in the public interest “and could be used to harm people or banks.”

Unfortunately, keeping secrets is a policy trend that all-too-many governments and agencies at all levels—federal, state and local—are adopting when the people they are supposed to be serving and protecting go beyond the trust they naturally invest in government and seek to verify—through the press—that what the government is doing is, indeed, in their best interest.

If you find yourself needing the services of an experienced Charlotte, North Carolina bankruptcy attorney, please call the skilled lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC find additional resources here. As professionals who are experienced at handling all kinds of bankruptcy matters, our attorneys will provide you with the best advice for your particular situation.



About the Author

Bryan 1Bryan Stone is a Partner with Arnold & Smith, PLLC, where he focuses his practice on all aspects of bankruptcy, including: Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Chapter 13, home loan modifications and landlord-tenant issues.

A native of Macon, Georgia, Mr. Stone attended the University of Georgia, where he earned a BBA in Banking and Finance, and Wake Forest University School of Law, where he obtained his law degree.

Following law school, Mr. Stone relocated to Charlotte, where he currently serves as Chair of “Bravo!” – a young professionals organization associated with Opera Carolina – and founded the University of Georgia Alumni Association of Charlotte.

In his spare time, Mr. Stone enjoys perfecting his barbeque skills for the annual “Q-City BBQ Championship” and playing softball in the Mecklenburg County Bar softball league.









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