The "Fake Lender" Rule

"If Congress doesn’t act soon to repeal a rule by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the floodgates will be open for predatory lending in all 50 states and the District of Columbia." 
Opinion by Lauren Saunders (NCLC) and Lisa Stifler (CRL), Morning Consult, April 22, 2021
The Center has been working with our national allies to support repeal of a federal regulator (OCC) rule that would essentially undermine all our work here in AZ. Rent-a-bank lending by payday lenders is back - see this advertisement from a storefront in Prescott, AZ for an example.
Our research has identified at least six online or storefront lenders using a handful of small banks to launder predatory loans to Arizona consumers in an effort to evade Arizona’s usury cap and consumer protections - laws that apply to Consumer Lenders licensed by the Arizona Department of Insurance and Financial Institutions.

We believe these loans to be illegal and have repeatedly written to the Arizona Attorney General requesting enforcement of existing laws. The Arizona AG did not join a bipartisan group of 25 State Attorneys General who urged Congress this month to repeal the OCC "True Lender" rule.

Visit for letters, comments, press articles and more on this topic.

What You Can Do

  • Call Sen Kyrsten Sinema at (202) 224-4521 or email her office
  • Call Sen Mark Kelly at (202) 224-2235 or email his office
to demand that they vote to repeal of the OCC's "True Lender" rule using the Congressional Review Act.

The Preschool Promise

CEI is the home of The Preschool Promise coalition (TPP). The working group continues to meet weekly.  We are making excellent progress.

Pima county voted to include $10 million dollars in the new fiscal year budget to go toward scholarships. On May 4 the Pima County Board of Supervisors (BOS) will vote on committing long-term funding for preschool and the County Administrator recommended structure of the Preschool program. So, yes this is all extremely GOOD news, but we need to stay on top of the county budgeting process and work very closely with county administration staff to ensure we get that final vote to include preschool and that the program is launched & managed effectively. And there is more good news for TPP in At the State Legislature below!  

We encourage individuals to "join the movement" and sign up to stay informed at 

What You Can Do

Add your signature to this letter of support to the Pima County Board of Supervisors before April 30 - thank you! 

Arizona Grandparent Ambassadors (AZGA)

The Center continues to provide this group with technical and administrative support as the grandparent and kinship families advocacy group is in now in its 11th year!  This kinship group are incredible community leaders and extremely effective advocates for families. They will be meeting over the summer to envision how they wish to grow and transform their work into the future. More information at  And there is still more good news from this group in At the State Legislature below!

At the State Legislature

Each legislative session we monitor bills that would have an impact related to our mission. We work with members of our coalitions and with legislators and arrange for testimony to be given when necessary.

Arizonans' for Responsible Lending

Senate bill SB1463 is a 309-page omnibus bill which makes numerous changes at the Department of Insurance and Financial Institutions and which prompted much policy debate. Our focus has been on the section that expands loan amounts subject to AZ consumer lending law.  Currently the law covers loans up to $10k.  The bill would expand covered loan amounts up to $50k

Our goal in the negotiations is to make sure those higher loan amounts are capped at a reasonable interest rate (18% APR) and to have the installment lending industry do some annual reporting on how many loans they are making and at what amounts. The Center's board members have given legal guidance to advocacy on this bill and testimony at the legislature on behalf of the Center. Coalition leadership is working with our legislator allies to try and obtain reasonable consumer rates. 

Other bills in this 55th session which we supported and that would have amended or repealed the laws under which Title Loans and Registration Loans are made received only their first and second readings in the House in Jan/Feb but were not progressed to committees. 

To learn more about our ongoing work visit 

The Preschool Promise

Some really good news is that the state library expansion bill passed and was signed by the governor.  This means counties all across the state have more legal discretion with regards to using the (secondary) library district tax monies to help fund preschool into the future.  This project has taken many years to unfold but we are very close to succeeding with this crucial first step toward universal Pre-K. 

Arizona Grandparent Ambassadors

The Arizona Grandparent and Kinship Ambassadors membership group has been moving full speed ahead during the state legislative session.  Two bills are strongly supported by pretty much everyone at the legislator regardless of party affiliation. One would increase the stipend for families that do not receive any other state assistance for raising these children from $75.00 to $150.00 per child. The other would make families that are not formally involved with the child welfare system (DCS) eligible to receive TANF (child only temporary assistance for needy family) funds. Both bills passed through committees easily and are now folded into the broader budget negotiations that are currently in process.

Sine Die

The 100th day of session has passed without sine die (adjournment) and the focus of legislators now is mainly on sending a budget to the Governor.
Executive Director

CEI In The News

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