Press Releases & Commentary

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  • Federal Housing Finance Agency's Rule Setting Affordable Housing Goals
    August 19, 2015
    Today, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) issued a final rule setting affordable housing goals for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the GSEs). Affordable housing goals are meant to ensure that people in lower-wealth communities have access to homeownership and affordable rental housing. FHFA announced that its' single-family, low-income home purchase goal for 2015-2017 would be set at a conservative 24 percent, and that the dual-part market and benchmark test that determines if goals are met would remain unchanged. This allows the GSEs to meet the goal even if they fall below the target percentage, as long as their lending matches the overall market.
  • CRL Statement on the Loss of Julian Bond
    August 16, 2015
    We at the Center for Responsible Lending were deeply saddened by the loss of Julian Bond, a great American, our friend, colleague and a member of the CRL Board of Directors.
  • Discover Bank’s Illegal Student Loan Servicing Practices Show Need for New Rules
    July 23, 2015
    Yesterday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a consent order requiring Discover Bank to pay a $2.5 million dollar fine and $16 million in refunds to consumers for illegal student loan servicing practices. The bank overstated the minimum amounts due on billing statements and denied consumers information they needed to obtain federal tax benefits. According to the CFPB, the company also engaged in illegal debt collection tactics.
  • Military Lending Act Rules Stop 'Debt Trap' Payday, Car-Title, Installment Loans to Service Members
    July 21, 2015
    In a speech today in Pittsburgh at the annual Veterans of Foreign Wars convention, President Obama announced new Department of Defense rules to further protect service members and their families from predatory lending practices. The rules strengthen the Military Lending Act (MLA), closing loopholes unscrupulous lenders use to target military families with predatory, high-cost loans, and applying the Act's rules to all existing lending practices in the marketplace. The new rules go into effect October 1.
  • Honda Finance Settles with CFPB, DOJ over Discriminatory Dealer Interest Rate Markups
    July 14, 2015
    Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a settlement with Honda Finance Corporation, which will result in the finance company paying $24 million in restitution to affected borrowers. Honda Finance's past practices resulted in thousands of borrowers of color paying higher interest rates than white borrowers. The company will also change its lending practices to reduce discrimination, and submit to continued oversight to monitor for discriminatory impact.
  • CFPB Seeks Information on Student Loan Servicing Issues
    July 14, 2015
    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a Request for Information (RFI) soliciting feedback on student loan servicing issues. CRL submitted comments to this request for information – comment author Maura Dundon offered the following remarks on student loan servicing issues...
  • Debt Collection Settlement Holds Bank Accountable for Errors
    July 9, 2015
    Yesterday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and legal officials from 47 states and Washington, D.C. announced a joint settlement with JPMorgan Chase that will result in the bank paying $136 million in fines and $50 million in restitution based on investigations into its debt collection and debt sales practices. The investigations focused on the selling of "zombie debts" and incorrect consumer data to third-party debt collectors and the use of improper debt collection techniques, including “robo-signing”, the rapid signing of legal documents without adequate review.
  • HUD Issues Common Sense Regulation to Protect Fair Housing
    July 8, 2015
    The US Department of Housing and Urban Development today released its rule on Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH), taking definitive actions that will address “disparities in housing needs and in access to opportunity, replacing segregated living patterns with truly integrated and balanced living patterns, transforming racially and ethnically concentrated areas of poverty into areas of opportunity, and fostering and maintaining compliance with civil rights and fair housing laws.”
  • Poll: Strong Bipartisan Support for Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
    July 7, 2015
    A majority of Republican, Democratic and Independent voters across the nation support the work and mission of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, according to a recent national poll sponsored by the Center for Responsible Lending and Americans for Financial Reform. The poll also identified strong bipartisan support for consumer protections to guard against financial predators and for tough enforcement of those protections.
  • US Department of Education Proposes Rules to Better Protect College Students, Federal Financial Aid Dollars
    July 2, 2015
    The comment period on the US Department of Education proposed rule governing college-bank marketing partnerships closes on Thursday, July 2. CRL senior policy counsel Maura Dundon submitted comments to the Department and offered the following remarks: