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Texas CSO. Texas Credit Services Organization. Texas Payday loan laws. Texas Payday loan legislation. Texas does have specific payday loan safe-harbor legislation. Texas payday loan statutes refer to a scale of fees. The minimum term is 7 days and the maximum is 31 days. Rollovers are limited. The best approach for Texas payday loan and car title loan lenders is to become a CSO > CAB.
Beginning in July of 2005, the major Texas payday loan operators began registering as "Credit Services Organizations" commonly referred to as a "CSO". This includes Advance America, Cash America, First Cash, EZ Pawn, and EZ Cash in addition to many, many small payday loan operators.
Prior to the switch over to the CSO model, virtually all these cash advance operators utilized the bank-charter model; partnering with banks incorporated in states lacking usury laws (referred to as the "payday loan bank model". By partnering with these banks and acting as brokers, the payday loan operators were able to export the usury rate applicable to their partner bank into Texas; or whatever state the payday loan operator/broker located.
What is a CSO Credit Services Organization
In essence, a CSO or Credit Services Organization is defined by the Texas Credit Services Organization Act (Section 393 of the Texas Finance Code) as an entity or person that provides one of the following services:
An important aspect of the CSO or Credit Services Organization model is that there IS NO LICENSING required by the state! CSO's are required to "REGISTER" with the Secretary of State, they are NOT licensed, AND THEIR FEES ARE NOT REGULATED.
How does the CSO Credit Services Organization work with payday loans?
The CSO Credit Services Organization operates as a broker, much as they did when partnering with the banks (payday loan bank model). The Texas Credit Services Organization Act (CSOA) allows the payday loan lender to register as a CSO and act as a loan broker. Thus, the CSO, previously a payday loan company, can make loans via consumer lending companies that are UNREGISTERED and UNLICENSED. The CSO Credit Services Organization acts as a broker for the consumer in need of funds by issuing a "letter-of-credit" on behalf of the consumer to a lender. This third-party unregistered lender funds the "loan" brokered by the CSO "broker".
The CSO Credit Services Organization model arises from a U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals opinion, in Lovick vs. Rite Money, which held that payments to a registered CSO loan broker could not be treated as interest.
The applicability of the CSO Credit Services Organization to use in other states is being explored now. Thirty-one states plus Canada have provisions for the CSO Credit Services Organization entity. Since it is typical of the CSO not to be regulated, and the fact that the CSO fees are not considered interest as per the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, there is little doubt we will see this approach utilized on a grand scale in the future!
For a thorough discussion of the CSO Credit Services Organization Model including the applicable Texas Statutes and the CSO Registration Form for Texas, we invite you to Payday Loan CSO Report.
For a thorough discussion of the payday loan industry and access to our payday loan training materials, we recommend you proceed to PaydayManual.com
In Texas, credit service organizations are governed by Chapter 393 of the Finance Code and the secretary of state’s administrative rules found in 1 Texas Administrative Code Chapter 74, as well as any other applicable state or federal law.