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Press Releases

June 18, 2010
The ongoing foreclosure crisis has slashed hundreds of billions of dollars in wealth from communities of color, a new CRL research report shows, as an estimated 17% of Latino homeowners and 11% of African-American homeowners have already lost their home to foreclosure or are now at imminent risk. The wealth drain is the result of direct losses from foreclosures and also the decline in neighboring property values each foreclosure brings. The report—"Foreclosures by Race and Ethnicity: The Demographics of a Crisis," http://qa.crl.w.lmdagency.net/research-publication/foreclosures-race-and-...
June 15, 2010
Statement of Center For Responsible Lending President Michael D.Calhoun regarding Federal Reserve Board Rules on Credit Card Penalty Fees The Federal Reserve Board today issued rules that significantly limit the penalty fees that credit card companies can charge, but didn't go far enough to curtail widespread abuse in this area. Our recent report shows that card issuers are charging late fees that are unrelated to issuer losses but instead are just another way to raise costs for credit card customers. Under the new rules—the third and final set implementing the Credit CARD Act...
June 8, 2010
Contrary to what they say, credit card companies don't price late fees for risk, a new report by the Center for Responsible Lending shows. Instead, the study finds issuers that engage in predatory pricing in general are more likely to charge the highest late fees, ones that bear little relationship to the issuers' potential loss. "The largest credit card issuers claim they use these fees as a deterrent to late payments or to cover their losses," says CRL senior researcher Joshua M. Frank, author of the report. "But the evidence shows late fees are just another way to charge customers more...
June 3, 2010
Legislation that would help prevent avoidable foreclosures and deter irresponsible lender and servicer behavior passed out of the California Senate today, 21-12. "Simple fairness dictates that no one should lose their home while they are in the middle of trying to save it," said Paul Leonard, director of the California office of the Center for Responsible Lending. SB 1275, authored by Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) and Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) would prevent servicers from foreclosing on homeowners who have requested modifications until a decision has...
May 28, 2010
Thousands of troubled California homeowners, like Kathryn Winogura of Lafayette and Zachary Norris of Oakland should have their fingers crossed for foreclosure legislation being considered in Sacramento next week. SB 1275, the bill sponsored by Sens. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) and Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento), would level the loan modification playing field and hold servicers accountable for their errors. The bill is up for consideration in the Senate Banking, Finance and Insurance (SBFI) Committee sometime next week, most likely Wednesday The bill has two major provisions:...
May 21, 2010
The economic crisis in our country has been deep and its impact devastating. Today, the U.S. Senate responded boldly by passing the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010 (S.3217), which protects families and small businesses from unfair financial practices and guards against regulatory lapses like those that led to the largest taxpayer–funded bailout in U.S. history. Before the President can sign final legislation into law, the Senate must now reconcile its bill with similar legislation the House passed in December. We look forward to working with members of both...
May 19, 2010
Washington, D.C. --- As the U.S. Senate prepares to vote on financial reform, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported today that serious mortgage delinquencies—those at least 90 days past due or in foreclosure—remained at record levels during the first quarter. These latest statistics show that one in 10 borrowers is seriously delinquent on their mortgage, up from one in 14 borrowers a year ago and one in 25 two years ago. "It is jolting to see the persistence of the foreclosure epidemic," said CRL president Mike Calhoun. "As Congress moves forward on financial reform, it's...
May 11, 2010
Over the past year, the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) has hosted numerous conversations with faith communities as part of its "Faith and Credit" program. In a letter delivered to Senators today, sixteen Christian leaders with decades of experience providing housing services and financial counseling urged legislators to enact reforms that protect against abusive lending practices targeting low-income households. "From the lens of our faith traditions, we recognize abusive lending as a breach of prohibitions against lending that exploits the poor," the letter states, citing practices...
May 6, 2010
Credit card borrowers who pay more than the minimum payment each month can reap big savings under the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009, a Center for Responsible Lending analysis finds. (For the full analysis, http://www.responsiblelending.org/research-publication/capitalizing-new-consumer.) Under the new law, known as the Credit CARD Act, borrowers can pay down existing credit card debt sooner by paying less interest than under the old rules, all the while improving their credit score. The CRL analysis estimates that for each dollar above the minimum...
April 21, 2010
The Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) is proud of its work to halt predatory lending and help Americans build and protect their financial wealth and security. For seven years we have worked successfully to ensure that mortgage loans are fair and affordable, reduce unfair credit card fees and tricks, rein in 400% interest payday loans, and eliminate abusive debit card fees. These changes save American families billions of dollars each year. However, lending abuses still persist, and have led us to today's economic crisis. Now more than ever, we need stronger consumer protections and a...

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