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Press Releases

June 30, 2014
A new report from the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) finds that the debt settlement remains a risky strategy for debt reduction – and often leaves consumers more financially vulnerable. Debt settlement companies offer the promise of settling a consumer's debt for a fraction of what they owe. The idea is simple: debt settlement companies offer to negotiate down the outstanding debt (usually from credit cards) owed to a more manageable amount so that a consumer can become debt free. Unfortunately debt settlement carries significant risks that may result in consumers becoming even worse...
June 25, 2014
On Tuesday, Senator Tom Harkin (D – IA) introduced a bill reauthorizing the Higher Education Act, the Higher Education Affordability Act, aimed in part at reducing the burden of student loans on borrowers and addressing abuses in student lending. In response to the bill, Center for Responsible Lending Senior Policy Counsel Maura Dundon said: The Center for Responsible Lending applauds Senator Harkin for his commitment to higher education and making substantive reforms protecting students as consumers of financial products and services. The proposed Higher Education Affordability Act...
June 24, 2014
Operation Choke Point Protects American Businesses, Consumers On Tuesday, the Senate will consider an amendment to the Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations bill that would eliminate funding for a Department of Justice program called "Operation Chokepoint." Center for Responsible Lending president Mike Calhoun responds: It's clear that the mythology that Operation Chokepoint detractors have been marketing has reached our nation's lawmakers and legislators. Despite what critics claim, Operation Chokepoint is a critical program that protects American businesses and consumers. This...
June 11, 2014
Senator Warren's Bank of Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act Provides Important Options for Refinancing Student Loans This week, the Senate will vote on Senator Elizabeth Warren's Bank of Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, which would allow borrowers to refinance student loans at lower rates. Representatives Miller and Tierney have also introduced a companion bill in the House. The Center for Responsible Lending joins a robust group of education, labor, student, and consumer organizations supporting the bill. In a statement issued today, Senior Policy Counsel Maura...
June 10, 2014
Yesterday, President Barack Obama held a White House briefing and signed a Presidential Memorandum calling for new refinancing options, expanding access to income-based repayment, better outreach to distressed borrowers, and more accountability for student loan servicers. Later this week, the Senate is scheduled to vote on Senator Warren's Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, which would allow borrowers to refinance federal and private student loans at lower rates. Representatives Miller and Tierney have also introduced a companion bill in the House. In a statement...
June 9, 2014
"We must not undermine the progress we have made," says Ken Edwards Today, the House of Representatives will vote on the so-called "Mortgage Choice Act" – a bill that would threaten the safety of home loans and leave consumers vulnerable to excessive fees. These fees, according to the Center for Responsible Lending, would upset the careful balance struck by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in creating the new mortgage rules designed to protect consumers from the irresponsible lending practices that contributed to the recent housing crisis. "It's deeply concerning how...
June 3, 2014
Last month, the Department of Defense issued a report to Congress on the Military Lending Act: Enhancement of Protections on Consumer Credit for Members of the Armed Forces and Their Dependents. In its report, the Department of Defense reviews the regulations that implement the 2007 Military Lending Act, an act to protect servicemembers and their families by capping the cost of credit at 36%. DoD concludes that new, more comprehensive regulations are needed to protect servicemembers from high-cost credit. Today, the the Center for Responsible Lending, the Consumer Federation of America...
June 2, 2014
On Friday, May 23, 2014, President Barack Obama nominated San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro as the new Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Statement of Mike Calhoun, president of the Center for Responsible Lending: In his five year tenure, Major Julián Castro has made a substantial difference for the city of San Antonio. The Mayor has a long record of focusing on affordable housing opportunities as the leader of 7th largest metropolitan region in the country - and his emphasis on urban revitalization, workforce development, and job growth has led...
May 28, 2014
Today, the Center for Responsible Lending joins an extensive group of education, student, civil rights, consumer, veterans, and labor groups in calling for strong for-profit college regulations. Yesterday was the last day to file comments on regulation proposed by the Department of Education, called the "gainful employment rule." The gainful employment rule, proposed in March of this year, aims to create standards for trade, career, and for-profit institutions. "Far too many students enroll in for-profit institutions because of high-pressure and deceptive sales tactics, rather than...

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