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Press Releases

November 12, 2009
"The Federal Reserve Board's action today on debit card overdraft fees legitimizes an abusive product without providing any substantive protections for bank customers. We appreciate that the Fed chose to implement the strongest overdraft reform rule it was considering, namely requiring banks and credit unions to ask new and existing customers before charging overdraft fees on debit card transactions. But this improvement is undermined by the Fed's failure to propose or enact necessary safeguards against a host of unfair practices. The Fed acknowledges in its new rule that the fees...
November 10, 2009
Statement by Mike Calhoun, President of the Center for Responsible Lending: "The draft legislation to create a Consumer Financial Protection Agency unveiled today by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd is an essential component of urgently needed financial reform. Unfortunately, the banking lobby will exert intense pressure to weaken the bill by carving out special exemptions for some lenders and also by hobbling states' ability to address lending issues in their own jurisdictions. Committee members will need to resist the banking lobby's influence if they are to craft...
October 30, 2009
Congressional proposals to rein in abusive overdraft practices are long overdue, Center for Responsible Lending executive Eric Halperin told the House Financial Services Committee today. Halperin, who is director of CRL's Washington office, gave full support to legislation aimed at reforming bank overdraft programs, which cost consumers $23.7 billion last year and are among the most predatory lending products on the market. "Charging people a $35 fee for a small, debit card transaction is unacceptable," said Halperin, director of CRL's Washington office. "It doesn't save them bounced...
October 29, 2009
(Opportunity Finance Network Press Release - October 29, 2009) Charlotte, NC - Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) announced today that Martin Eakes, a nationally recognized expert on community development finance serving low-income people and communities, received the third annual Ned Gramlich Lifetime Achievement Award for Responsible Lending. Named in memory of the late Federal Reserve Board Governor Edward (Ned) Gramlich, the Award honors a lifetime of achievement in responsible financial services. Gramlich served as a Board Member of OFN after leaving the Federal Reserve Board. Read...
October 26, 2009
October 26, 2009— The Center for Responsible Lending, Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, National Consumer Law Center, on behalf of its low-income clients, and U.S. PIRG applaud Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney as she renews her push for overdraft reform with the "Overdraft Protection Act of 2009" (H.R. 3904), introduced last week. Momentum in Congress toward substantive reform is building and welcome. Abuses have rapidly thrust consumer overdraft fees to well over $20 billion per year. Rep. Maloney's bill, like similar legislation introduced last week by Senator Dodd,...
October 22, 2009
Washington, D.C. – "We commend the leadership of Chairman Barney Frank and the House Financial Services Committee for passing the Consumer Financial Protection Agency legislation (H.R. 3126). It's a strong start to creating an agency that would be solely dedicated to providing financial safeguards for Americans, though before final passage must be substantially strengthened if it is to curtail the abuses that triggered the current economic crisis. To succeed the CFPA must have the oversight and enforcement authority to end the predatory practices that have pushed tens of millions...
October 21, 2009
Consumer groups strongly support Senator Christopher Dodd for introducing a bill this week that would curb many of the abusive overdraft practices of banks and credit unions. Those practices now strip nearly $24 billion annually from checking accounts, primarily from Americans living paycheck-to-paycheck. The "Fairness and Accountability in Receiving Overdraft Coverage Act" ("FAIR Act") that Dodd has proposed would require financial institutions to obtain explicit permission from all their customers before enrolling them in a system of fee-based overdraft coverage for debit card and ATM...
October 6, 2009
Banks and credit unions collected nearly $24 billion in overdraft fees last year, an increase of 35 percent from just two years earlier, a new study by the Center for Responsible lending shows. The explosion in overdraft charges has drained the wallet of as many as 51 million Americans whose accounts become overdrawn annually. It is particularly harmful to financially vulnerable families already hit hard by the recession. "Banks and credit unions have become so sophisticated in driving up overdrafts that Americans now pay more in overdraft fees every year than they do for books, cereal...
September 25, 2009
"Americans are fed up with bank overdraft practices. Media scrutiny and proposed legislation in Congress prompted three of the nation's largest banks to unveil changes to their overdraft policies this week. But the changes are far from enough and, in fact, underscore the need for comprehensive overdraft reform as quickly as possible. Only one of the three banks has announced significant improvements: It will stop charging overdraft fees on debit card transactions unless customers have explicitly signed up for that kind of coverage. And it will stop the unfair practice most banks follow of...
September 14, 2009
"On the anniversary of the costliest financial bailout in U.S. history, we back President Obama's renewed call for the creation of a new agency to bring commonsense oversight to the financial services industry and, in the process, protect consumers, taxpayers and the economy from a repeat of the current fiasco. The regulators responsible for making our financial system work have failed. That's clear from widespread foreclosures devastating millions of Americans and surrounding neighborhoods, from unfair bank overdraft fees and credit card practices that cost consumers tens of billions of...

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