Wolves in "Responsible Lending" Clothing

May 17, 2011

The Association for Responsible Lending has a website promoting consumer finance lending, and its lobbyists are busily distributing ARL-branded materials to lawmakers in the NC General Assembly and submitting opinion pieces to newspapers.  

However, it appears that the Association for Responsible Lending is run by a marketing firm in western NC called Dolphin Media Group and is a "sock puppet" for consumer finance companies.  And their recent activities are aimed at getting lawmakers to raise the interest rates and fees that consumer finance companies are allowed to charge in NC.

We have no problem with groups lobbying for their financial interest.  But we strongly object when these activities seek to roll back consumer finance protections by capitalizing on the value of our Center for Responsible Lending trademark and our reputation for protecting borrowers from abusive practices. Our mark has been established through our widely-cited research and state/national advocacy work since 2002. 

CRL has demanded that the lobbyists and principals with “Association for Responsible Lending” immediately cease and desist from all uses of that name, as it infringes upon CRL’s mark or may be otherwise misleading, unfair or deceptive.  Here's a copy of our letter.

UPDATE 5-23-11:  The group has now changed their name to "Association for Installment Lending".  Much clearer about who they really are, don't you agree?

By the way, CRL opposes the proposal to raise interest rates and fees for NC borrowers because consumer loans already are expensive, and this move will only make them harder to pay off. We’re telling lawmakers that clearly. Why can't the lenders argue their point of view in the same way and without deception?

More straight answers: CRL |