As a founding member of the Responsible Business Lending Coalition (RBLC), Opportunity Fund is elated to see that Representatives Phillips (D-MN), Timmons (R-SC), and Velazquez (D-NY) have introduced a bi-partisan resolution in support of the RBLC’s Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights.
H. Res. 370 is a colossal step in moving the industry towards greater transparency and fairness, and the timing of the resolution could not be better as it coincides with National Small Business Week.
Small business owners across the country have found themselves in the crosshairs of predatory lenders after traditional lenders tightened their lending practices post-recession. Abetted with a profound lack of protections and clarity in the small business lending industry, these bad actors offer products with an average APR of 94%, with one reaching an astounding 358%.
“Small businesses are a critical component of America’s competitiveness, and Congress should work to promote an environment in which they can thrive.” – Representative Timmons
The RBLC developed the Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights in 2015 after observing the rise in irresponsible business lending. Our coalition of for-profit and non-profit organizations is committed to propelling innovation in small business lending, with a focus on making affordable credit more accessible to business owners across the country.
The tenets of the Borrowers’ Bill of Rights include:
– The Right to Transparent Pricing and Terms
– The Right to Non-Abusive Products
– The Right to Responsible Underwriting
– The Right to Fair Treatment from Brokers
– The Right to Inclusive Credit Access
– The Right to Fair Collection Practices
From H. Res. 370 to California’s SB-1235, the first truth-in-lending act enacted in the nation, Opportunity Fund and the RBLC will continue to advocate and work towards greater small business protections across the country.