Baseless Attacks on CRL Driven by Foes of Financial Reform

Statement from Michael Calhoun, President, CRL


Center for Responsible Lending
April 21, 2010

The Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) is proud of its work to halt predatory lending and help Americans build and protect their financial wealth and security.  For seven years we have worked successfully to ensure that mortgage loans are fair and affordable, reduce unfair credit card fees and tricks, rein in 400% interest payday loans, and eliminate abusive debit card fees. These changes save American families billions of dollars each year. However, lending abuses still persist, and have led us to today's economic crisis.  Now more than ever, we need stronger consumer protections and a fair, transparent financial system.

Big-money opponents of these reforms—particularly payday lenders desperate to keep their 400% interest loans—are driving efforts to discredit CRL.  Their time-worn tactics are nothing new: They spend millions of dollars to lobby lawmakers.  They hide behind big PR firms and an array of fake "front groups" with consumer-friendly names to promote their viewpoints and criticize opponents.  And they attack the Center for Responsible Lending and other groups supporting financial reform, using claims they know are false.  CRL has repeatedly addressed these charges at the Center for Straight Answers on our website, but the payday lenders can't abandon their tactics because they know that the public opposes their abusive product.

Now these foes of financial reform are trying to use the justified anger of many Americans against Wall Street abuses to undermine the prospects of a real fix for our financial system and increased consumer protection.   This misdirection is a last-ditch effort of lies, innuendo, and misinformation to try to stop real momentum for reform.  And its goal is to help big-money special interests, not American families.

For more information: Kathleen Day at (202) 349-1871 or kathleen.day@responsiblelending.org; Ginna Green at (510) 379-5513 or ginna.green@responsiblelending.org; or Charlene Crowell at (919) 313-8523 or charlene.crowell@responsiblelending.org.

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About the Center for Responsible Lending

The Center for Responsible Lending is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research and policy organization dedicated to protecting homeownership and family wealth by working to eliminate abusive financial practices. CRL is affiliated with Self-Help, one of the nation's largest community development financial institutions.