Editorial: The Little Guys Win One on Payday Loans

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Steve Hebert for The New York Times

Since the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau opened its doors in 2011, the agency’s investigations and enforcement actions have returned more than $12 billion to auto buyers, homeowners, credit-card holders and other borrowers who were victimized by deceptive or predatory practices. Consumers who have been trapped in debt by the notorious payday lending industry will now get extra help from the bureau with a rule imposed this month.

These lenders advertise as “easy” the short-term loans that come due in two weeks. The borrower typically writes a postdated check for the full balance — including fees — or allows the lender to electronically…

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