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Press Releases

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@...
September 9, 2015
Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced enforcement actions against Encore Capital Group and Portfolio Recovery Associates, the two largest debt buyers active in the United States. According to the Bureau, Encore will pay up to $42 million in refunds to affected consumers, a $10 million fine and cease collection on $125 million in debts. Portfolio will pay $19 million in consumer refunds, a $8 million fine and cease collection on over $3 million in debts. The CFPB documented the companies buying debts that were potentially inaccurate, lacking documentation or...
September 1, 2015
The Federal Housing Administration's mutual mortgage insurance fund plays a critical role in providing access to credit so that millions of Americans—many of whom are first-time buyers, come from low- and moderate-income backgrounds, or purchase homes in communities of color—can be successful homeowners. The FHA today proposed revised language on the lender certification of loan and borrower eligibility and lender disbarment. Mike Calhoun, CRL president, commented: The housing market needs to provide consumers with affordable, well-underwritten home loans, ensure the fiscal strength...
August 19, 2015
Today, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) issued a final rule setting affordable housing goals for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the GSEs). Affordable housing goals are meant to ensure that people in lower-wealth communities have access to homeownership and affordable rental housing.[1] FHFA announced that its single-family, low-income home purchase goal for 2015-2017 would be set at a conservative 24 percent, and that the dual-part market and benchmark test that determines if goals are met would remain unchanged. This allows the GSEs to meet the goal even if they fall below the target...
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...
July 23, 2015
Yesterday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a consent order requiring Discover Bank to pay a $2.5 million dollar fine and $16 million in refunds to consumers for illegal student loan servicing practices. The bank overstated the minimum amounts due on billing statements and denied consumers information they needed to obtain federal tax benefits. According to the CFPB, the company also engaged in illegal debt collection tactics. Maura Dundon, an expert on student lending and a Senior Policy Counsel at the Center for Responsible Lending, gave the following statement...
July 21, 2015
In a speech today in Pittsburgh at the annual Veterans of Foreign Wars convention, President Obama announced new Department of Defense rules to further protect service members and their families from predatory lending practices. The rules strengthen the Military Lending Act (MLA), closing loopholes unscrupulous lenders use to target military families with predatory, high-cost loans, and applying the Act's rules to all existing lending practices in the marketplace. The new rules go into effect October 1. Center for Responsible Lending President Mike Calhoun gave the following statement...
July 14, 2015
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a Request for Information (RFI) soliciting feedback on student loan servicing issues. CRL submitted comments to this request for information – comment author Maura Dundon offered the following remarks on student loan servicing issues: Fair student loan servicing is critical to protect borrowers and help them repay their loans successfully. But student loan servicing stands today where mortgage servicing stood over a decade ago: critically important and largely ignored. We have seen that the handling of student loans is rife with...
July 14, 2015 | By Test
Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that it has reached a settlement with Honda Finance Corporation, which will result in the finance company paying $24 million in restitution to affected borrowers. Honda's past practices resulted in thousands of borrowers of color paying higher interest rates than white borrowers. The company will also change its lending practices to reduce discrimination, and submit to additional oversight to monitor for discriminatory impact. CRL Senior Vice President Chris Kukla released the following statement: The terms of the...

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