Utah Bank Named as Enabler of Predatory Puppy Loans

Advocate Andy

Consumer groups issue report calling out TAB Bank and EasyPay over predatory practices

Consumer advocates are calling out EasyPay Finance and Utah-based TAB Bank for their roles in predatory loans for financing puppies. These loans can carry rates up to 189%. Consumer and animal welfare advocates joined together to issue a report on the practices of EasyPay and their bank partner TAB Bank.

EasyPay offers financing for purchases at pet stores, auto mechanics, furniture stores and other retailers at rates ranging from 130% to 189% APR. In 32 states where those rates are illegal, EasyPay launders its loans through TAB Bank, headquartered in Utah, to disguise the loans as bank loans that are exempt from state rate caps. This is a practice often referred to as a “rent-a-bank” scheme. In states that allow these high rates, EasyPay extends financing directly. To see which stores offer EasyPay loans, go to https://findastore.easypayfinance.com/.

For more on “rent-a-bank” schemes, check out this story:

Consumer Groups Call for FDIC Action on Predatory Lending | by Andy Spears | Feb, 2022 | Medium

“TAB Bank is misusing its bank charter by fronting for abusive loans that bleed consumers dry,” said Nadine Chabrier, policy and litigation counsel at the Center for Responsible Lending. “Responsible merchants should stop peddling predatory EasyPay loans and the FDIC should end TAB Bank’s participation in this scheme.”

Humane Society Speaks Out

“TAB Bank’s partnership with EasyPay Finance promotes exploitative financing of puppies from inhumane, high-volume dog breeding facilities that ignore the needs of the puppies, including proper veterinary care and early socialization,” said Rachel Heatley, Advocacy Director of the Utah Humane Society.

Advocates Call for Action on Payday Predators, Bank Enablers

“The FDIC must break up the romance between TAB Bank and EasyPay Finance,” said Lauren Saunders, associate director of the National Consumer Law Center. “TAB Bank and EasyPay’s rent-a-bank relationship enables 189% puppy loans of questionable legality — well in excess of many state interest rate caps — dramatically increasing the cost of a family pet.”

“It’s time for the FDIC to put a leash on predatory puppy loans from TAB Bank, which is having a ball at the expense of consumers and their furry friends,” said Mike Litt, U.S. PIRG’s consumer campaign director.

“I’m a dog dad. My dogs are my family,” said Brent Adams, Senior Vice President of Woodstock Institute. “TAB Bank and EasyPay know the love of an animal will push many people into one of their predatory loans. This is financial exploitation of the worst kind.”

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Andy Spears is a middle Tennessee writer and policy advocate. He reports on news around public policy issues - education, health care, consumer protection, and more.

Nashville, TN
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