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Press Releases

July 9, 2015
Yesterday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and legal officials from 47 states and Washington, D.C. announced a joint settlement with JPMorgan Chase that will result in the bank paying $136 million in fines and $50 million in restitution based on investigations into its debt collection and debt sales practices. The investigations focused on the selling of "zombie debts" and incorrect consumer data to third-party debt collectors and the use of improper debt collection techniques, including "robo-signing", the rapid signing of legal documents without adequate review. Lisa Stifler,...
July 8, 2015
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development today released its rule on Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH), taking definitive actions that will address "disparities in housing needs and in access to opportunity, replacing segregated living patterns with truly integrated and balanced living patterns, transforming racially and ethnically concentrated areas of poverty into areas of opportunity, and fostering and maintaining compliance with civil rights and fair housing laws." CRL executive vice president Nikitra Bailey commented: Today the Department of Housing and Urban...
July 7, 2015
A majority of Republican, Democratic and Independent voters across the nation support the work and mission of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, according to a recent national poll sponsored by the Center for Responsible Lending and Americans for Financial Reform. The poll also identified strong bipartisan support for consumer protections to guard against financial predators and for tough enforcement of those protections. The poll has been conducted since 2012 and support for the CFPB after voters hear a description of its purpose has been relatively consistent. This year, support...
July 2, 2015
The comment period on the US Department of Education proposed rule governing college-bank marketing partnerships closes on Thursday, July 2. CRL senior policy counsel Maura Dundon submitted comments to the Department and offered the following remarks: The Department of Education's proposed rule governing college-bank partnerships is a good first step towards protecting students from unfair marketing practices and overdraft fees – but more must be done to ensure that federal financial aid disbursement does not become a way to unfairly add to college coffers and bank bottom lines. A...
June 25, 2015
Today, the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) filed a public comment on urgently needed rules proposed by the California Department of Business Oversight (DBO) that would require payday lenders to follow California law by prohibiting the use of electronic transfers and debit cards in payday transactions. The rules would also create a new real-time electronic database to enforce existing law requirements that borrowers take out only one loan at a time. "The DBO's proposals will limit payday lender practices only to those activities actually authorized under the law and give DBO a real-...
June 19, 2015
On June 18, the Student Loan Ombudsman at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released a new report on the private student loan industry that sheds light on many troubling servicing practices affecting students and loan co-signers. CRL senior policy counsel Maura Dundon offered the following remarks: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's report confirms what consumers and consumer advocates have known for years: the servicing industry for private student loans is sorely in need of reform. The report reveals an industry plagued by poor customer service, breaches of contract,...
June 1, 2015
On May 28, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Department of Justice took enforcement action against Provident Funding Associates; the agencies found that the mortgage lender charged higher fees to African American and Hispanic borrowers. As early as 2006, the Center for Responsible Lending documented the pernicious extent of mortgage pricing disparities for borrowers of color by both brokers and lenders ("Unfair Lending", May 2006). CRL senior vice president Paul Leonard offered the following remarks: This action is a reminder that practices with racially discriminatory...
May 28, 2015
Earlier this week, the Federal Trade Commission announced an enforcement action against the for-profit trade school Ashworth College. The federal agency charged the Georgia-based online college with misrepresenting their programs, leaving students with educations that could not lead to proper credentials or careers. CRL senior policy counsel Maura Dundon offers the following remarks: The complaint against Ashworth College gets to the heart of the troubling and persistent for-profit schools matter: students were purposefully misled, often through aggressive and deceptive marketing...
May 18, 2015
On May 12, Senator Richard Shelby unveiled a discussion draft of a bill that would, among other things, undermine key banking and mortgage reforms established by the landmark Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection law. Center for Responsible Lending vice president Mitria Wilson offered the following remarks: For five years, post-crisis lending rules have made the financial system safer by eliminating abusive financial products, reining in reckless behavior, and encouraging more effective oversight. The draft legislation released by Senator Shelby seeks to gut these protections and...
May 15, 2015
The Department of Education announced today it would issue a strong proposed Cash Management rule. The rule would regulate the way colleges can enter into marketing agreements with banks and prepaid card issuers who wish to market to their student populations. It would ban overdraft and point-of-sale fees on some accounts - and require that all accounts be in the "best interests" of students. Center for Responsible Lending senior policy counsel Maura Dundon offers remarks on the Department's proposed rule: The Department of Education should be commended for its strong proposed Cash...

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