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Better rate cap eligibility identifier wanted by DoD
WASHINGTON (8/20/08)—The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has asked Congress to more clearly define who may benefit form a 2007 law that caps interest rates on payday, vehicle title, and refund-anticipation loans for military servicemembers. In a report to the Senate Armed Services Committee, DoD said that the lending cap has generally worked well to protect military servicemembers and their dependents from abusive payday loans. (American Banker August 19) However, the department urged Congress to better define who is eligible for the lending cap and recommended that lenders have access to the Defense Manpower Data Center, the database that tracks those eligible for military benefits. That recommendation was first set forth in a comment letter from HSBC North America Inc. to the Defense Department. The department report noted that anyone found in the database would be covered under the law and the approach could allow lenders an efficient method to assure compliance with the law and regulators a more consistent way to evaluate compliance.

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