Payday lenders caught discussing Trump fundraising to thwart new regulations

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  • In unearthed audio, payday lenders openly discussed using their fundraising campaign on behalf of President Donald Trump’s election campaign to help push back the regulation of his administration, the Washington Post reported.
  • During a September 24 webinar, Michael Hodges, founder of Advance Financial – one of the nation’s largest payday lenders – said the industry’s contributions to the war chest of Trump’s re-election campaign could help them gain access to the White House.
  • The webinar opens a window into the strategy of the payday lending industry as it attempts to push back against stricter government regulations by moving closer to the Trump administration and the president’s campaign.
  • Payday lenders are waiting for new rules that could relax the standards set by the Obama administration, and one of them is to make sure their customers are able to repay the money they borrow.
  • Visit the Business Insider homepage for more stories.

In unearthed audio, payday lenders openly discussed using their fundraising campaign on behalf of President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign to thwart his administration’s regulation, the Washington Post reported.

During a September 24 webinar, Michael Hodges, founder of Advance Financial, one of the nation’s largest payday lenders, said the industry’s contributions to the war chest of Trump’s re-election campaign could help them gain access to the White House.

“For example, I went to see Ronna McDaniel and said, ‘Ronna, I need help on something,’” Hodges said, referring to the chairman of the Republican National Committee. “She was able to call the White House and say, ‘Hey, we have one of our big donors. They need an audience… They need to be heard and you need to listen to them. That’s why it’s important. “

The video was discovered by Allied Progress and Americans for Financial Reform, two advocacy groups.

A look behind the curtain

The webinar opens a window into the strategy of the payday lending industry as it attempts to push back against stricter government regulations by moving closer to the Trump administration and the president’s campaign. Payday lenders are while waiting for new rules this could relax the standards set by the Obama administration, and one of them is to make sure their customers are able to repay the money they borrow.

The industry is made up of companies that provide short term loans quickly but at high interest rates to their clients. He has been criticized for trapping their clients in cycles that require them to take out one payday loan after another in an attempt to keep up with their payment plans.

In the audio that was posted to Youtube but later deleted after the Post started asking questions, Hodges and three other industry insiders also slammed Democrats, according to the report.

They called California Representative Maxine Waters an “industry hater” and also said Senator Elizabeth Warren would pose a threat to their business if elected president. They called Trump the “ultimate backstop” to thwart regulations detrimental to their interests.

“When Trump was elected, the needle turned in our favor – finally,” said Max Wood of Borrow Smart Compliance. This company sponsored the webinar.

Hodges said he donated more than $ 1 million to support the president during the webinar. But he played down his role and told the Post he never used his position to win favor with the Trump administration.

“When I talk about access, I am not talking about the administration. I did not put pressure on the administration,” he told the Post. “I didn’t go to the White House because of Ronna McDaniel.… It just didn’t happen.”

Hodges has become one of Trump and the GOP’s top fundraisers, the report notes. In midterm 2018, his company and employees spent $ 965,450 on campaigns. And so far, Advance Financial has spent $ 672,956. Most of the money went to Republicans.

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