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Important Notice for Lenders Residing in Pennsylvania

by Prosper on 09/15/08

We have made the decision to discontinue accepting new lender registrations, and new bids from existing lenders, from residents of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Our decision to make this change was based on our ongoing discussions with regulators in Pennsylvania, which led us to believe the change was necessary to comply with their current interpretation of their state regulations.

We have notified existing lenders residing in Pennsylvania of this change via email. Existing lenders residing in Pennsylvania will continue with their existing lender agreements, have their existing loans serviced, and be able to transfer funds out of their Prosper account. However, they will not be able to place new bids on listings or transfer money into their Prosper accounts.

This change does not affect borrowers residing in Pennsylvania, who remain free to create loan listings on Prosper.

We apologize for any inconvenience this change may have caused. We will continue to keep lenders who are directly impacted as well as the broader Prosper community posted on any future developments related to this matter. We hope to make Prosper available to lenders in Pennsylvania again soon.


  • Havrenko

    Ok… why?

  • Greg

    I’m a Pennsylvania lender, and this change took me by surprise, to say the least. Can you provide any further specifics on the nature of the regulations in question?

  • Erik

    Do you have an estimate on the timing of this and when us PA lenders will be able to lend again?

  • Brian Garner

    Who in authority in PA can we lobby to get their interpretation of the regulations relaxed. PA needs to stop being in the way of free commerce.

  • Michael

    This indeed does effect borrowers. How can it not. Borrowers in PA most likely have friends and family in PA, and cannot receive endorsements now because of this. What is the meaning of this?

  • Wyominggirl7

    I want to express my outrage. I received an email this morning stating that you are no longer allowing bids from registered lenders in PA, and you are also not allowing new lenders from my state as well. The policy in general doesn’t make any sense to me, but more importantly I think all PA lenders should’ve been notified that this change was coming (instead of it becoming effective immediately). I feel like Prosper has slapped me upside the head in the way this situation has been handled. I have previously been very content with the way this site has been run and am more than disappointed in how this situation has been handled.

  • DonQ

    If Prosper has had ongoing discussions with regulators in Pennsylvania, why didn’t Prosper contact PA lenders sooner? Not only is this announcement a surprise, it’s a wasted opportunity: PA lenders could have contacted their state senators and representatives, not to mention Governor Rendell’s office, to apply some pressure.

    As Greg asked above, kindly inform us of the specific regulations involved.

  • Jim Silvestros

    I can’t believe that the PA lawmakers are so stupid. As if PA is not already the most outdated and backward state. This is outragous. Call your local lawmaker!

  • Joe L

    You know, I guess all of us (Lenders from PA) will need to do 2 things.

    1) determine what the issue is (“interpretation”) and write to our lawmakers.
    and/or
    2) sign up with one of the other peer to peer lending companies.

    Certainly Prosper dot com would prefer we do the former…so give it up. What is the issue and who should we write to in order to get this resolved.

    Joe

  • Tony

    Pennsylvanians for Prosper Lending (pa4prosperlending) has been established to raise a voice against this denial of opportunity, and freedom.

    At this point in time it is imperative that the voice of Lenders in Pennsylvania and beyond begin to solidify. This petition is a great way to do that. Let’s use our collective voice to bring attention to this matter.

    Let your voice be heard! Please follow the link below and sign the petition.
    http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/pa4prosperlending

    I’m just one lender who felt a kick in the gut when I received notice of this restriction. My immediate thoughts and feelings were not unlike being robbed. That’s because we have been robbed! Robbed of opportunity, and robbed of freedom. I set up this blog and encourage anyone with frustration over this to please post their thoughts, ideas, and knowledge. -and please! sign the petition.

    http://pa4prosperlending.blogspot.com/

    Please forward this information to everyone you can!

    We can not give up our freedom for this opportunity! If this opportunity is taken away from us in PA what freedom will be taken away next!!!!!

  • Pingback: Prosper no longer allowing PA residents to lend money | Money, Love, and Change

  • http://blog.prosper.com Prosper Blog

    The regulatory body we’re primarily in discussions with is the Pennsylvania Securities Commission. Contact information for the Commission and other key Pennsylvania government and regulatory officials is included in the following links:

    Pennsylvania Securities Commission
    http://www.psc.state.pa.us/investor/contact.html

    Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell’s Office
    http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=512&objID=2998&mode=2

    Pennsylvania Open for Business
    http://www.paopen4business.state.pa.us/paofb/cwp/view.asp?a=3&q=440975

    Pennsylvania House of Representatives
    http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/member_information/email_list.cfm?body=H

    Pennsylvania State Senate
    http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/member_information/email_list.cfm?body=S

  • Tedd K

    I contacted my state rep over this lending issue for PA residents. I imagine that the banks do not like this peer to peer lending and so they lobbied to shut us down. Yes I know, heavy handed government tactics at work again.

  • DonQ

    Apparently the issue is a Pennsylvania statute that limits interest rates to 6% for loans less than $50K (Prosper folks — is that the issue? You still haven’t told us!): Title 41 “Maximum Interest Rates” (see esp. 41 P.S. § 301(f)(ii)).

    This is far from a simple are of law — for some background, read this short article by Wolf Baldwin & Assoc. at
    http://tinyurl.com/5ewbb8

    Interestingly, 41 P.S. § 301(f)(ii) says the 6% ceiling does not apply to unsecured, non-collateralized loans in excess of $35,000.00 or to business loans the principal amount of which is over $10,000.00. Quite a few Prosper loans might meet those criteria.

    For additional background, check out these excerpts from a 1997 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article:

    “For Prosper.com, business has been hampered so far in Pennsylvania by a state statute that sets a maximum interest rate of 6 percent annually on loans of less than $50,000. That makes it hard for Pennsylvania borrowers to attract lenders on the site, Mr. Larsen said.”

    “State and federal laws have carved out exemptions that allow banks and other entities in the state to charge more than 6 percent, but Pennsylvania regulators are still determining whether Prosper.com qualifies.”

    “‘We’re trying to work with regulators, but it takes time,’ Mr. Larsen said.”
    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07252/815600-28.stm

  • http://pa4prosperlending.blogspot.com/ Tony

    Sign the petition!

    http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/pa4prosperlending

    Email your friends and ask them to sign the petition!

  • Jon P

    I suggest you all contact your state representatives and senators as well as the governor. I already have my state rep interested in this issue. I need more information to give him about the what the regulations are and what officials and organizations are involved. I wish prosper had told use sooner so we could have pressured law makers.

  • Mike S

    Pennsylvania get more ridiculous all the time. I want to continue lending! I have signed the petition mentioned above and will be contacting my legislators right away!

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  • http://blog.prosper.com Prosper Blog

    In response to DonQ’s comment, we want to clarify that borrowers in PA are no longer subject to the 6% rate cap and reiterate that the decision to discontinue new lender registrations and accept new bids from lenders residing in Pennsylvania was not related to the statutes cited.

    We also want to underscore that residents of Pennsylvania continue to have the opportunity to create loan listings on Prosper. Additional information related to state rate caps and how Prosper is regulated made be found here: http://www.prosper.com/legal/states_and_licenses.aspx

  • jim c

    I just can’t believe this. With all my other investments tanking, you take away the one that I am actually making a good return on. Its crap like this that pushes people over the edge.

  • DonQ

    Prosper: thanks for your reply (September 16th, 2008 at 7:50 pm) to my earlier post. You write:

    Well, no, but LENDERS apparently are, which seems to be why PA folks can’t LEND.

    OK, so what WAS the decision related to? I like a good mystery, but not when it concerns my investments!

    In a general sense, this statement is correct. However, the only information on Pennsylvania on that page is not very enlightening:

    “Prosper is available to lenders from all states except Pennsylvania and South Dakota.”

    We can commiserate with our friends in South Dakota, but we are left wondering what drove Prosper’s PA decision. Do tell.

  • DonQ

    [Sorry -- in my first attempt to post this message I left out half of it!]

    Prosper: thanks for your reply (September 16th, 2008 at 7:50 pm) to my earlier post. You write:

    Well, no, but LENDERS apparently are, which seems to be why PA folks can’t LEND.

    OK, so what WAS the decision related to? I like a good mystery, but not when it concerns my investments!

    In a general sense, this statement is correct. However, the only information on Pennsylvania on that page is not very enlightening:

    “Prosper is available to lenders from all states except Pennsylvania and South Dakota.”

    We can commiserate with our friends in South Dakota, but we are left wondering what drove Prosper’s PA decision. Do tell.

  • DonQ

    [Moderator -- please don't post my earlier two attempts to post. Sorry!]

    Prosper: thanks for your reply (September 16th, 2008 at 7:50 pm) to my earlier post. You write:

    “In response to DonQ’s comment, we want to clarify that borrowers in PA are no longer subject to the 6% rate cap….”

    Well, no, but LENDERS apparently are, which seems to be why PA folks can’t LEND.

    “[We] reiterate that the decision to discontinue new lender registrations and accept new bids from lenders residing in Pennsylvania was not related to the statutes cited.”

    OK, so what WAS the decision related to? I like a good mystery, but not when it concerns my investments!

    “Additional information related to state rate caps and how Prosper is regulated made be found here: http://www.prosper.com/legal/states_and_licenses.aspx

    In a general sense, this statement is correct. However, the only information on Pennsylvania on that page is not very enlightening:

    “Prosper is available to lenders from all states except Pennsylvania and South Dakota.”

    We can commiserate with our friends in South Dakota, but we are left wondering what drove Prosper’s PA decision. Do tell.

  • http://www.pcloandoctor.com Tom B.

    I too, was taken by surprise by this. After having spent a year with prosper and even purchasing a domain name and setting up my web sites for promotions. I feel that I have now wasted my time and money. And also being one of the unfortunate ones to be laid-off recently what else can they do to stop us from trying to make a little money? How can the state think this is hurting anybody? Oh’ I get it they aren’t making any money from it.

  • “Investar”

    My letter to:
    Pennsylvania Securities Commission

    regulatory snafu
    re:
    Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
    Pennsylvania Securities Commission
    vs:
    Prosper Marketplace Inc. et al

    Dear Sir or Madame,

    I am a Pennsylvania resident who has retained Prosper Marketplace Inc. et al, to facilitate my ernest desire to provide monetary assistance to certain private individuals via a simple promissory note.

    I have received notice from Prosper Marketplace, Inc. I shall immediately cease and desist all further activity, and remove myself from every activity which may lead to my assistance of any other private persons through their agency. And further, my failure to do would subject me to violation of statues promulgated by the Commonwealth which prohibit such exercise of my free will and volition.

    I have freely proffered Uncollateralized Promissory Notes without an intermediary, within and without the Commonwealth. What prohibits my retention of structured counsel of my choosing to suggest candidates to me, prepare the legal note for me, and act as servicing and accounting agent on my behalf, all as both parties have agreed is pleasant and expedient?

    Please advise. Thank you.

    Sincerely yours,

  • Casbah

    I hope Prosper is working with the powers to be to resolve this mystery issue. I really like and trust Prosper. I budget a few dollars each pay to build my lending capabilities.

    Prosper, Should I continue to do this or are we done???

  • Rich

    I just recently learned of Prosper suspending Pennsylvania residents from participating in any future loans until further notice. I am GREATLY disappointed!!! I can not imagine what kinds of issues could have arised that could not be resolved. I WAS a lender until I received the shut-out when I tried to transfer additional funds to my account. This actually strikes a CRUSHING blow to my personal financial investing. I had received the BEST return on my first initial SMALL investment. I was looking forward to growing this while also knowing I was helping others like myself who have struggled. I truly hope this will be resolved EXPEDIENTLY by prosper and the state of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania allows all those LOAN SHARK payday loan sites to loan to PA residence, but they will give a hard time about individuals investing in individuals and thus not allow it? I have two words to describe this whole scenario of which only common decency prevents me from saying them right now.

  • nancy

    So typical of PA. This is a shock but I guess living in PA all my life it shouldn’t be a surprise.

  • Stephen Dieringer

    From Prosper Blog | September 16th, 2008 at 7:50 pm “reiterate that the decision to discontinue new lender registrations and accept new bids from lenders residing in Pennsylvania was not related to the statutes cited.”

    OK, Well what in fact are the regulations / statutes involved with this fiasco?

  • nancy

    To Prosper Blog dated 9-16 at 7:50.
    You said “In response to DonQ’s comment, we want to clarify that borrowers in PA are no longer subject to the 6% rate cap and reiterate that the decision to discontinue new lender registrations and accept new bids from lenders residing in Pennsylvania was not related to the statutes cited.”
    Do I read this correctly? Its not illegal for PA residents to lend money but Prosper decided not to allow PA to lend anyway? Why? And is this forever? I would like to know because there are other P2P sites out there.

  • Pingback: Pennsylvania Citizens Are Children in Need of Supervision | P2P Lending, Peer to Peer Lending, People to People Lending | P2P Lending News, Information, Borrowing and Lending Strategy

  • David

    Hi, I’m not a PA resident, but I thought I might share a couple thoughts with those of you who are trying to make something of this situation. For pure FYI, really. Just a few facts:

    * The reason lenders anywhere are able to get credit cards with huge rates is that the credit card companies have been able to lobby to get interstate commerce laws relaxed. That is, states have always had usury caps, of varying degree, but the credit card companies operate out of states with higher caps (or no caps). But the regulations these days allow them to lend to anyone. So that’s why the PA borrowers can borrow from anyone they want.

    * You might want to consider looking into other states and their loan rate caps and how it is that lenders in those states are able to do what they like. It’s probably not the rate cap so much as it is the loan size. Note that sometimes these rules actually protect lenders very well from things like payday loans and other predatory practices. Perhaps you’d want to consider moving the restriction down to loans under $2000 instead of $25000. That might take care of a lot of those small, predatory loans, while still allowing you to do prosper loans.

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  • Rich W

    I heartily agree with the comments above. It was a kick in the face. Prosper was also my future investment hope in light of all the other investments out there that are tanking (real estate, stocks, etc). I would also add this for everyone’s considering: so PA caps rates for unsecured loans of less than a certain amount at 5%? So how are all those loan shark “pay day loan” sites able to make loans to PA residents at 456% APR?!! Prosper was a safe and NON-usury website that allowed PEOPLE to lend to PEOPLE at REASONABLE interest rates; and, to help those people whom the banks would shut out and leave these people to the despartion of online loan sharks. Guess if the banks can’t have these loans, no one can? I intend to sign the above petition as well and hope for the best outcome. Also, even if prosper should eventually allow lending and borrowing from PA residents, it can not be stymied by a rate cap of 5-6%!! This would defeat the purpose of getting a good return for investors, and it would shut out individuals who have bad credit and are seeking a loan they only place they can. They would never get a loan at that ridiculous loan rate as I have personally found this out through my own borrowing on prosper recently. I have a current borrower loan now at 35%. This loan helped me out of a payday vicious cycle and was the LOWEST rate I could borrow on. Oh, and of course I was not good enough for the banks. So, thanks to the PEOPLE on prosper for making this happen. I hope us PA prosper lenders and borrowers can work to resolve this outrage.

  • Sameer

    I’ve been reading this blog:
    http://pa4prosperlending.blogspot.com/

    It sounds like all Prosper has to do is become a registered securities dealer in PA.

  • Greg

    OK, so since I initially posted on 9/16 Prosper has supplied a list of entities we can contact to lodge our dissatisfaction. That’s great.

    Can you tell us, though, what are the statutes and regulations involved in this decision? What exactly is the origin of PA lenders losing their right to lend?

    I’m with Stephen Dieringer…don’t PA-based lenders deserve some sort of more detailed explanation beyond just an “Oh-well-sucks-to-be-you”?

  • Marc Dlugos

    Moderators: An inquiry has been made last Wednesday as to whether or not Pennsylvania residents are finished as lenders. To date, you have not responded. I will re-ask:

    Are we finished as lenders here in the backwards commonwealth of Pennsylvania?

    Several Prosper members including myself have contacted our state representatives and I am sure that Prosper employees have done the same. Problem is, we haven’t seen anything in the way of updates. Perhaps you could help.

  • DonQ

    OK, Prosper — it’s been a week since you announced your decision to exclude lenders who reside in PA.

    Despite the repeated requests of your PA lenders, you have not identified the regulations at issue.

    Kindly do so.

  • John Henson

    As has been asked by someone else, are we finished in PA? Or should I hold my money in hopes of further investing in Prosper? Please get word to us as soon as possible, so we can make a move accordingly. My Prosper investment is as important part of my investment portfolio. Please hurry, I don’t have many years left.

  • http://blog.prosper.com Prosper Blog

    In response to inquiries regarding the origin of the decision to discontinue lending activity in Pennsylvania, we would like to clarify that this decision relates to the Pennsylvania Securities Commission’s interpretation of Pennsylvania securities regulations. Due to the confidential nature of our discussions with the Commission, we cannot disclose any further information about our discussions, other than to say we respectfully disagree with their interpretation and are attempting to work with them to address their concerns.

  • John Henson

    I’m sorry, I don’t understand what could be “secret” when negotiating with a governmental agency concerning a topic like Prosper. After all, it’s not national security. I believe we, the members, have a right to know what has transpired, and why the commonwealth of PA would single out Prosper to pick on. I read the applicable clause in the PA banking law, and it seems to me that since we are not direct lenders, the 6% rule should not apply in our case. In fact, it appears to me to be totally irrelevant.

  • Joe L

    I have heard (from person in Harrisburg) that this may be related to Prosper dot com not having a physical presence in PA. If someone would like to step up to the plate and offer a corner of their PA office to Prosper, this may satisfy the need. Furthermore, this partner may need to provide an agent of sorts to respond to the PA Banking Commission on a period basis to review records, etc. They are all online, so this means computer, internet, etc.

    I can understand Prosper’s objection if this is the case.

    If all of this is true, let’s have some party apply for a loan and we will finance it. That is, pay the rent, internet access, and a token salary in order to satisfy the “presence” requirement.

    Prosper, can you provide a hand jesture or some other signal to indicate if I’m on the right track here?

    Thanks everyone.

    Joe

  • pa4prosperlending

    The problem does not have to do with the 6% rate cap. It most likely has to with registration of Promissory Notes as “securities” via PA statute 70 section 1-201. The PA Securities Commission is interpreting the Promissory Notes we as lender purchase as Securities. So far, my conversation with the Securities Exchange Commission leads me to believe that unless a Promissory Note is traded on a financial exchange they do not need to be registered, at least Federally. But, the PA Department of Banking is not the rock you want to be looking under for clarification. As Prosper has pointed out, it’s the PA Securities Commission. I’ve spoken with the PA Securities Commission, and they told me what regulation they are interpreting Prosper to be in violation of. Again, It’s PA Statute 70, Sect 1-201.

    I’ve been posting everything I find out on:: http://pa4prosperlending.blogspot.com A petition has also been established @ http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/pa4prosperlending/index.html

    I invite anyone, and not just PA Lenders, but ANYONE involved with Prosper to post their comments, their frustration, questions, ideas, knowledge. Email me at pa4prosperlending@gmail.com if you have any ideas or info for the blog. PA Lenders need to consolidate their voice, they need to consolidate their frustration. We should all know by now how things get done… It takes a GROUP… there’s power in numbers! Let’s unite and create one loud voice. That said, and knowing that their are 760 PA Lenders, I’m really holding out hope that the number of signatures on the petition increases. If you haven’t signed the petition yet, please do so! If you have signed, ask your best friend, your mom, your dad, your brother, your sister, your cousin, your co-worker, ask whoever to sign as well.

  • 10jwbajore

    I am a PA resident and Prosper lender and took this shockingly as well. I think the ideology behind Prosper is amazing where lending to persons in need outside of the bank (and the risk associated with said loans) is a remarkable idea).
    It is sad to know that we can no longer issue new loans; however, I do not plan to stay in PA long (I am currently a college junior), so hopefully I can soon re-invest within the Prosper Community.

    -10jwbajore

  • jack london

    Umm thats nice for you. But what about the rest of us who are not leaving this state anytime soon>??!

  • Wyominggirl7

    I have become increasingly frustrated watching my interest pile up and being unable to re-invest it. Like others have mentioned my other investments are tanking and I had hoped to continue to build my investment here using the interest, to watch it just sit there while no-one is informing the PA lenders what is going on is infuriating. I have written all of my legislators about this, but see no change occuring. WHAT IS GOING ON PROSPER!?

  • William Casey

    Is a lawsuit against Prosper a possibility?

  • Stephen Dieringer

    It appears that this issue is also impacting any lenders looking to sign up with https://www.loanio.com/
    which started on Oct. 1 and is now accepting members.

    Kudos to
    http://pa4prosperlending.blogspot.com/
    which looks to be the only site really looking to get to the bottom of this mess.

    A periodic update / status report from prosper.com would be nice.

  • Havrenko

    This hurts Prosper. I have no doubt they are doing everything they can to bring PA back online. It would be good to have the process more transparent. Let us know what steps are being taken and what hurdles are in the way. What successes are being had.

    Has anyone set up a Facebook group or something that can show what strength if any we have in numbers?

    I’d really like to know why it’s ok for Visa to charge 29% interest but it’s not ok for Joe Pennsyltucky to lend at 7%.

  • http://pa4prosperlending.blogspot.com/ Tony

    Wyominggirl7, and anyone else who is frustrated with this situation I invite you to please read and participate in my blog. I encourage anyone to please use the blog to comment and vent your frustrations. Click on any “leave a comment” link on any post, and share your thoughts. Feel free to email me at pa4prosperlending@gmail.com if you have anything you would like to see addressed.

    Wyominggirl7, I agree with you. It is frustrating to watch our principle and interest accumulate without the ability to reinvest it, -especially when you know that everyone else in the Prosper Marketplace can expand, diversify, and compound their portfolios. We, on the other hand, are stuck. We can’t get out and we aren’t given the same investor rights and abilities as our lending peers.

    I think you might like one of my entries. Please see my entry from Friday, 9/26: http://pa4prosperlending.blogspot.com/2008/09/venting-oh-and-check-pennsylvania-state.html I wrote a follow-up to that entry today, that you should see as well.

    It seems that state officials are really clueless on this issue, and the only thing they are coming back with is the dusty old issue of the 6% PA lending cap. That is an old and dead issue. I sense that they will get-up-to speed eventually and realize they can stop bugging the PA Dept. of Banking. That they can stop coming back with out dated information, and realize that it’s the PA Securities Commission that has acted prematurely and with too much haste consequently, hurting existing PA lenders in the process. It’s the PA Securities Commission our officials need to contact.

    Check out the blog. I’m trying to post any and all information I find on there.


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Notice: Blogs and other materials posted on or linked from this page that use the name "Prosper" generally use that name to refer to Prosper Marketplace, Inc. if published before January 31, 2013 and to refer to Prosper Funding LLC if published on or after February 1, 2013.