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Press Releases

May 23, 2014
Photo Gallery On May 22, 2014, the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL), in partnership with other civil and consumer rights advocates, briefed Members of Congress, their legislative staffs, media and members of the public on its research on the auto lending abuses that affect communities of color, low–wealth and the military. The briefing, sponsored by Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-30th/TX), took place in the House Transportation Committee room, at 2 pm. The panel discussion, moderated by Kenneth W. Edwards, CRL's VP for Federal Affairs, and featured presentations by CRL's...
May 21, 2014
Today, the Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit of the House Financial Services Committee will hold a hearing entitled, "Legislative Proposals to Improve Transparency and Accountability at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau." The hearing will include discussion on eleven bills. Statement of Mike Calhoun, president of the Center for Responsible Lending: "In its first two years, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) returned hundreds of millions of dollars to families, took enforcement action against abusive and predatory lending, filed suit...
May 20, 2014
On the fifth anniversary of the Credit CARD Act of 2009, consumer advocates applaud the Act's success in saving Americans billions of dollars in predatory and excessive fees. By one estimate, the CARD Act has saved consumers $12.6 billion annually in lower fees and interest charges; a recent report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau identifies nearly $4 billion annual savings in fees alone. Now it is time, advocates urge, to address abusive fees on debit and prepaid cards. "The CARD Act has been hugely successful in banning the biggest unfair credit card gotchas like...
May 15, 2014
On May 22, 2014, the Center for Responsible Lending, in partnership with other civil and consumer rights advocates, will host a briefing on the auto lending abuses that affect communities of color, low–wealth and the military. The briefing will take place in the House Transportation Committee room, at 2 pm. Few household transactions are as significant, or as large, as the purchase of a family car. Recently, federal regulators have shone a spotlight on potential discrimination in car lending. The discussion will focus especially on the practice of car dealer interest rate markups...
May 15, 2014
Mike Calhoun, president of the Center for Responsible Lending, issued the following statement today: Any mortgage finance reform needs to prioritize access to credit and affordability for all creditworthy borrowers – and that's not what we see in the bill that passed the Senate Banking Committee today. The proposal to overhaul the nation's housing finance system needlessly makes mortgages more expensive and less available placing homeownership out of reach for far too many American families. Without meaningful requirements to serve all markets nationally or follow fair...
May 1, 2014
Mike Calhoun says: Rep. Maxine Waters has presented a solid proposal on how to carefully reform the nation's housing finance system. The Home Forward Act of 2014 rightly recognizes that any reform to this market must ensure broad credit access for qualified borrowers and a level playing field among lenders of every size. The HOME Forward Act correctly structures the new system to ensure that the largest lenders do not gain unfair advantage over community lenders. The proposal provides smaller lenders a fair opportunity to compete with the biggest banks and promotes greater affordability...
April 30, 2014
A new report from the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) finds that the debt buying and debt collection industries have grown rapidly in recent years – and with them, a suite of predatory and abusive collection practices that could cause consumers financial havoc. Today, one in seven Americans is being pursued by a debt collector. Despite their recent growth, the debt buying and collection industries are still largely unregulated; this allows debt buyers and collectors to take advantage of financially-distressed consumers and extract billions of dollars in judgments for debts that...
April 28, 2014
Chris Kukla, vice president of the Center for Responsible Lending, said: We are happy to see that BMO Harris Bank will no longer compensate car dealers through hidden interest rate increases. BMO Harris is ahead of its peers in ending "dealer interest rate markups," a common, virtually invisible practice that adds billions of dollars to the cost of car loans. The bank's action comes in the wake of recent enforcement actions and guidance from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). An enforcement action against Ally Bank in December 2013 found that borrowers of color paid more...
March 25, 2014
Washington, DC –New research released today by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on payday lending affirms what CRL has long found about the inherent defects of payday lending and shows that payday loans create a debt trap that makes borrowers worse off. Among the new findings: Nearly three-fifths of monthly borrowers in the CFPB study were recipients of government benefits, including Social Security—and these borrowers were more likely to be stuck in long-term debt. "This research validates all we know about the payday debt trap," said CRL President Mike Calhoun. "The cycle...
March 21, 2014
Joint statement The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development, National Council of La Raza, National Fair Housing Alliance, National Urban League, and Center for Responsible Lending express serious concerns, say much needs to be fixed The new Senate proposal to reform the housing finance system would needlessly make mortgages more expensive and less available, announced civil rights groups today. The goal of housing finance reform is to create a...

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