Lawmakers protect title loan firms while borrowers pay sky-high interest rates

How millions in campaign contributions help block laws to crack down on lending abuses.

Investigative (NATIONAL)

Fred Schulte
Center for Public Integrity
December 9, 2015

Tags: Consumer Protection, Predatory Lending, Title Loans

Organizations mentioned/involved: Virginia Poverty Law Center (VPLC), Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada


A Center for Public Integrity investigation found that the title lenders have fended off tighter state oversight of their operations behind millions of dollars in campaign contributions, aggressive challenges to regulators who seek to rein them in and by writing loan contracts that leave aggrieved borrowers with little legal recourse.


Venicia Considine, a lawyer at the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, who assisted the Whitaker family, said many borrowers with poor credit and few other options make easy prey for lenders.

“It’s very easy to say they [borrowers] are trying to game the system,” Considine said. “I think it’s easy to demonize people who don’t have a voice or a lobbyist.”

Title lenders, she said, “bleed” people “until there is nothing left. Then they get their car.”