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Press Releases

January 8, 2009
The subprime market for home loans has dried up for now, but the bad subprime loans made at the height of the mortgage bubble continue to damage neighborhoods and drown the economy in foreclosures. New information in a Center for Responsible Lending report provides a fresh, grim snapshot of the spreading negative effects of subprime mortgages that were aggressively marketed up until last year. The report, "Continued Decay and Shaky Repairs: The State of Subprime Loans Today," includes these findings: Over 1.5 million homes have been lost through subprime foreclosures. Another 2...
December 22, 2008
"Today in Washington, several groups issued updates on mortgage performance and the success of attempts to repair distressed home loans. These reports show we are still losing the battle to stop the continuing epidemic of foreclosures at the root of the growing economic crisis. The proverbial vicious cycle continues as these foreclosures, in turn, continue to batter our economy and put a recovery further out of reach. "The weak economy is, of course, a factor, in the default of modified loans. But the underlying cause of both the worsening economy and the growing number of re-defaults is...
December 22, 2008
Federal banking regulators yesterday withdrew proposed rules that would have largely failed to protect consumers from astronomically high-cost, unsolicited overdraft loans. The Fed then immediately issued a new proposal containing two alternative approaches. The impact the new proposal will have on abusive fees depends primarily on which approach the Fed ultimately chooses. Consumers pay $17.5 billion per year in overdraft fees that banks charge after routinely allowing consumers to overdraw their accounts by checks, ACH transactions, ATM withdrawals and debit card purchases. This exceeds...
December 19, 2008
Federal regulators issued credit card rules today that take a significant and welcome step to curb some of the industry's most unfair and abusive practices. Unfortunately, implementation of the rules won't take effect for 18 months and, in several key respects, don't go far enough to protect consumers. "Protecting consumers from the costly credit card practices that drain their wallets should always be a priority," said Center for Responsible Lending president Michael Calhoun. "But with a faltering economy showing no sign of improvement, consumers need to be able to hold on to hard-earned...
December 16, 2008
Credit card companies make credit more costly than necessary by manipulating payments to keep the highest-cost balances from being paid off and by imposing hidden, hard-to-understand penalty interest rates, two new studies released today by Center for Responsible Lending show. The reports, entitled "Priceless or Just Expensive? The Use of Penalty Rates in the Credit Card Industry" and "What's Draining Your Wallet? The Real Cost of Credit Card Cash Advances", detail widespread practices that deceive and abuse consumers. These include the use of penalty repricing--raising a cardholder's APR...
December 5, 2008
OAKLAND—Dec. 5, 2008—Nearly 11 percent of all mortgage loans in California were past due or in foreclosure at the end of September according to new data released this morning from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). The data, which show that nationally one in 10 homes were delinquent; 1 in 20 were seriously delinquent and 1 in 33 were in foreclosure as of Sept. 30, underscore the need for swift and effective solutions to mitigate the foreclosures that are at the root of the worst economic crisis in decades and the personal financial crises of millions of homeowners and...
December 5, 2008
Today we learn from the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) that at least one out of every 10 homeowners is behind on their mortgage or already facing foreclosure, a fact that underscores what we already know is the gloomiest housing picture in the United States in decades, possibly ever. The MBA's newest numbers for the three months ending September 30 also underscore what we and others, including many economists with expertise in housing issues, have been saying for over a year: Avoiding foreclosures that don't need to happen is our country's best hope for economic recovery. The reason...
December 2, 2008
A new survey by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. underscores the need for regulatory and congressional action to stop banks from artificially increasing overdrafts without a customer's express consent, a practice that unfairly strips billions of dollars annually from checking accounts. The survey, taken of the banks the FDIC supervises, found that a majority of banks reported automatically enrolling customers into overdraft systems that impose a fee. Rules under consideration by the Federal Reserve Board would require banks to give customers the choice of opting out of the expensive,...
December 1, 2008
The Honorable Barack ObamaPresident-Elect of the United Statesc/o Presidential Transition TeamWashington, DC[Via electronic delivery to John Podesta, Larry Summers, Tim Geithner] Dear President-Elect Obama, We, the undersigned leaders of the nation's foremost consumer, community, civil rights and legal services organizations, write to you to state our urgent concerns regarding the need to guarantee consumer and marketplace protections as a fundamental principle guiding both your nominee selections and policy proposals for agencies that deal with housing and credit policy. Collectively,...
November 24, 2008
Today, as the President-elect announces his economic team for the new Administration, the Center for Responsible Lending highlights the urgent need to stop the epidemic of foreclosures and restore a lending environment where ordinary Americans have access to sustainable loans without fearing financial ruin. "We commend the next Administration for assembling a talented and experienced team to address the economic crisis," said Mike Calhoun, president of the Center for Responsible Lending. "We believe this team understands the imperative to curb the losses to financial institutions and the...

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