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Press Releases

October 31, 2014
For more information, contact Andrew High at Andrew.High@responsiblelending.org or 919-313-8533.
October 31, 2014
In a letter sent today to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray, a group of civil rights and economic justice organizations, including the Center for Responsible Lending, asked the Bureau to use its regulatory authority to curtail discretionary auto dealer interest rate markups. Court cases and enforcement actions over two decades have shown dealer markups result in racial discrimination. Borrowers of color see their loans marked up more often and by a greater percentage. Most consumers have no idea the practice exists and that car dealers are adding extra...
September 18, 2014
Yesterday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that it intends to supervise the largest nonbank based auto lenders in a new "larger participant" proposed rule. The Bureau also announced that it has required indirect auto lenders to pay another $56 million to 190,000 consumers as redress for abusive practices, including dealer markup. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the lenders covered by the proposed rule accounted for more than half of the $355 billion auto loan market last year. Many lenders covered by the new CFPB rule are also deeply invested in...
September 17, 2014
Today, at a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Indianapolis field hearing on auto lending practices, Center for Responsible Lending Senior Vice President Chris Kukla testified about abuses in the market. Kukla, who leads CRL's auto lending team, highlighted the auto dealer interest rate markup and a number of issues in the subprime auto loan market that have been the subject of recent media scrutiny. The text of Kukla's opening statement is below: Thank you, Patrice. Director Cordray, thanks also to you and your staff for holding this hearing, and for providing me the...
August 5, 2014
The New York Times reported that the US Department of Justice has issued a subpoena to General Motor's finance subsidiary. The DOJ subpoena specifically asks for information about auto loan underwriting criteria and how loans are securitized and sold to investors. The same NYT article noted that the office of US Attorney for the Southern District of New York is also investigating the subprime auto lending market. US attorney Preet Bharara is reviewing the soundness of auto loan securities and whether the credit-worthiness of borrowers was accurately conveyed to investors. In response to...
May 23, 2014
Photo Gallery On May 22, 2014, the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL), in partnership with other civil and consumer rights advocates, briefed Members of Congress, their legislative staffs, media and members of the public on its research on the auto lending abuses that affect communities of color, low–wealth and the military. The briefing, sponsored by Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-30th/TX), took place in the House Transportation Committee room, at 2 pm. The panel discussion, moderated by Kenneth W. Edwards, CRL's VP for Federal Affairs, and featured presentations by CRL's...
May 15, 2014
On May 22, 2014, the Center for Responsible Lending, in partnership with other civil and consumer rights advocates, will host a briefing on the auto lending abuses that affect communities of color, low–wealth and the military. The briefing will take place in the House Transportation Committee room, at 2 pm. Few household transactions are as significant, or as large, as the purchase of a family car. Recently, federal regulators have shone a spotlight on potential discrimination in car lending. The discussion will focus especially on the practice of car dealer interest rate markups...
April 28, 2014
Chris Kukla, vice president of the Center for Responsible Lending, said: We are happy to see that BMO Harris Bank will no longer compensate car dealers through hidden interest rate increases. BMO Harris is ahead of its peers in ending "dealer interest rate markups," a common, virtually invisible practice that adds billions of dollars to the cost of car loans. The bank's action comes in the wake of recent enforcement actions and guidance from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). An enforcement action against Ally Bank in December 2013 found that borrowers of color paid more...
January 23, 2014
African Americans and Latinos pay higher interest rates on dealer-financed car loans than white buyers, even though people of color report more attempts to negotiate a better deal. According to a new report issued today by the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL), 39% of Latinos and 32% of African Americans reported attempts to negotiate their interest rate, compared to only 22% of white respondents—yet buyers of color received higher interest rates. The report, "Non-Negotiable: Negotiation Doesn't Help African Americans and Latinos on Dealer-Financed Car Loans," is based on information...
December 20, 2013
With today's settlement with Ally Financial, Inc. and Ally Bank (Ally), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Department of Justice took a major step to combat the longstanding problem of discrimination in car loans originated by automobile dealers. The practice that leads to this discrimination is auto loan "markups," when car dealers charge their customers higher rates than they qualify for. The dealer then retains some or all of the difference from the loan purchaser as compensation. During the past decade, these markups have been the subject of a number of lawsuits that found...

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