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Press Releases

July 25, 2008
Preventing millions of unnecessary foreclosures is important for all of us: the entire economy and every taxpayer. We're facing the wave of foreclosures today because reckless lenders for years mass-marketed bad loans. By the end of the bubble in 2006, six out of every 10 borrowers who got a subprime mortgages could have qualified for a lower-cost conventional loans. Who would knowingly sign a contract that would cost them tens of thousands of dollars more than necessary? The housing bill is a good step but even so will, at best, help about 500,000 families stay in their homes. That's...
July 14, 2008
(Revised July 23, 2008) Today the Federal Reserve helped return the home lending industry to common-sense business practices by issuing new rules for mortgage lenders. We are pleased to see that the Fed has adopted key protections for borrowers who receive subprime loans, including: Addressing the most substantial cause of current foreclosures, lenders must carefully evaluate a borrower's ability to repay a subprime loan, and verify the income used to do so; Lenders cannot impose abusive prepayment penalties that trap borrowers in short-term subprime ARMs; Lenders must escrow for...
July 11, 2008
While Washington continues to debate how to rein in the risky lending practices that fueled the foreclosure crisis, states are taking action. Earlier this week the North Carolina General Assembly became the first in the nation to ban "yield-spread premiums"—kickbacks that encourage brokers to overcharge—on subprime mortgages. These kickbacks, which brokers received for delivering subprime loans with higher interest rates than the lender had set, are one of the main reasons that subprime borrowers have typically paid thousands of dollars in unnecessary costs on brokered loans. "Consumers...
July 2, 2008
HOPE NOW claims in a press release today that the mortgage lending industry's program of facilitating voluntary workouts for distressed mortgage holders has helped 1.7 million borrowers stay in their homes. Once again, a closer look at HOPE NOW's data shows these numbers greatly overstate the help being provided and that the foreclosure crisis continues to accelerate and overwhelm industry's voluntary attempts to renegotiate unaffordable home loans. HOPE NOW servicers have been at this for a year now. Clearly they have failed. Delinquencies and foreclosures keep going up, and tens of...
June 30, 2008
Read the report (PDF)>> As IndyMac Bancorp battles questions about its financial stability, a new report from the Center for Responsible Lending provides evidence that IndyMac put itself in a hole by engaging in unsound and abusive lending during the nation's mortgage boom. The report, "'IndyMac: What Went Wrong?," finds substantial evidence that IndyMac routinely made loans with little regard for their customers' ability to repay the loans. CRL's interviews with former employees and a review of lawsuits in 10 states indicate that IndyMac pushed through loans based on...
June 5, 2008
New reports from lenders show that families falling behind on their mortgage payments, as well as those facing imminent foreclosure, have reached record highs. The trend indicates the mortgage crisis continues to worsen and is overwhelming the industry's voluntary efforts to help borrowers renegotiate unaffordable home loans. The market has shown that it cannot fix itself. Federal and state policymakers need to do more to hold lenders accountable and stem the foreclosure crisis that is damaging our economy. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association's National Delinquency Survey,...
April 14, 2008
In its April 10, 2008 press release, HOPE NOW claimed that the program, by facilitating voluntary workouts by servicers, has enabled 1.2 million homeowners to stay in their homes. The release touts this statistic, as well as the high proportion of subprime loan workouts comprised by loan modifications, as evidence of the industry's commitment and ability to prevent foreclosures. However, a closer look at the HOPE NOW data reveals that, notwithstanding efforts by servicers, the current crisis in the housing market simply dwarfs the mortgage industry's response to it. [1] • The number...
April 8, 2008
Good morning. This is Ted Lieu, and I represent parts of Los Angeles County, including Torrance, Redondo Beach, Marina del Rey and West Los Angeles, in the California Assembly. I want to thank the Center for Responsible Lending for inviting me to take part in the release of this critical research on broker pricing patterns. As many of you know, California is the epicenter of the foreclosure crisis. Last year, the Center of Responsible Lending estimated that nearly 500,000 California families would lose their homes to foreclosure due to the reckless lending practices that are so common in...
April 8, 2008
For more information: Kathleen Day at(202) 349-1871 or kathleen.day@responsiblelending.org; Sharon Reuss at (919) 313-8527 or sharon.reuss@responsiblelending.org; or Ginna Green at (510) 379-5513 or ginna.green@responsiblelending.org.
April 8, 2008
Today, we are reporting that mortgage brokers gave subprime borrowers overpriced home loans, even as they provided competitive rates to people with stronger credit. For brokered loans made between 2004 and 2006, we estimate that typical subprime borrowers will pay $5,222 more in interest over four years than if they had gotten the same loan directly from a lender. These results have serious implications for the estimated five million subprime borrowers who received loans from brokers in this period. They also highlight issues that Congress and financial regulators are facing as they...

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