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Press Releases

May 2, 2016
A new survey finds that Colorado voters strongly oppose the idea of raising interest rates on consumer loans. Opposition was widespread among voters across lines of race, party affiliation, and household income, but the intensity of opposition was especially strong among voters of color and those who had served in the military. Overall, 51% of voters said they would be "much more likely" to vote against a legislator who voted to increase interest rates. That number rose to 58% of military service-members or veterans, and 62% of non-whites. At issue are consumer loans that typically range...
March 16, 2016
The House Financial Services Committee continues its assault on regulators that fulfill their responsibilities to address predatory, high-risk financial practices. Today the Committee attacked the FDIC for curbing banks' involvement in tax refund anticipation loans. These products carry interest rates as high as 500% APR, posing clear consumer protection concerns as well as safety and soundness risks to the handful of banks involved in them. Mike Calhoun, CRL's President, issued the following statement: Tax refund anticipation loans preyed on low-income consumers by charging...
October 6, 2015
Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released a proposal to rein in the widespread use of clauses in financial services contracts that ban class action lawsuits by groups of consumers who have been harmed. They stopped short of also banning binding mandatory arbitration provisions. CRL Policy Counsel Lisa Stifler offered the following remarks: When consumers are deceived or cheated when using a credit card, opening a bank account or getting any manner of credit, they should have an opportunity to make their case before an impartial judge. And if the cheating is widespread...
September 18, 2015
Today, the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced new members of its Consumer Advisory Board, including Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) Senior Vice President Chris Kukla. The board brings together external experts, industry representatives, consumers, community leaders and advocates to discuss consumer protection issues, financial products and services, civil rights and underserved communities. Kukla, who leads CRL's auto lending initiatives, issued the following statement: It is an honor to be named to the board, and I look forward to working with its...
September 16, 2015
In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15-October 15, the Center for Responsible Lending will highlight issues this month that disproportionately affect this community. If your outlet is planning or considering coverage of financial services that pose challenges for consumers in general or Latinos in particular, CRL experts in policy, research and advocacy are available for scheduled interviews. View a factsheet on these abusive practices. For more information, or to arrange an interview with a CRL spokesperson on this issue, please contact Andrew High at Andrew.High@...
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. We all knew Julian as an iconic warrior in the trenches of the American civil rights movement. As a founding and longtime CRL board member, Julian also brought vision, leadership and passion to the battle for economic justice for millions of Americans, especially for those who have low incomes, are senior citizens and members of the armed services, or who live in communities of color. As early as 1967, during his time...
May 8, 2015
On Monday, May 11, 2015, Mitria Wilson, CRL vice president for government affairs, joined a congressional forum examining how mainstream financial service providers were not fully meeting the needs of many in the middle class – and many who aspire to it – for basic banking services like check cashing services and small dollar loans. The panel explored how this market is often filled by "alternative" financial service providers that sometimes employ predatory practices to trap consumers in a cycle of high fees and debt. Mitria and other panelists discussed steps to protect...
April 8, 2015
According to a new poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies and released today by the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL), North Carolina voters overwhelmingly disapprove of predatory lending and a bill that would legalize some of the worst lending abuses. The poll shows that 93% of registered North Carolina voters oppose pending legislation, that would allow finance companies to charge over 60% APR. The bill, SB 681, was introduced last month by State Senator Rick Gunn. Download the polling memo. (PDF) Download the full poll results. (PDF) "It's tough to get 93% of people to...
February 10, 2015
Update: On February 12, 2015, CRL president Mike Calhoun delivered testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs; the hearing was entitled "Regulatory Relief for Community Banks and Credit Unions." (Includes video of the full hearing) In his testimony, Calhoun underlined that responsible regulations and regulatory oversight are critical to the success of small lenders. Download a transcript of his entire testimony. (PDF) He also pointed out: Community banks and credit unions are different from their larger, national and international lending...
January 20, 2015
In response to the President's speech tonight, the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) has experts available to comment on areas mentioned in the State of the Union address including, mortgage access, student lending and the importance of new rules to rein in reckless practices in the financial sector. Strong Financial and Consumer Protections "With the President's promise to veto legislation that would roll back the progress made by Wall Street reform and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Americans can feel secure that they are protected from the predatory lending schemes that...

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