Research & Analysis
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CRL conducts in-depth research on the extent and impact of predatory lending, to provide useful information to consumers, community advocates, and policymakers alike. We also share our market and legal knowledge with advocates and policymakers across the nation interested in reforming lending practices. Below you will find CRL research and analyses on a range of topics.
Want more information? Go to the Tools & Resources page, or check out our Resources for Consumers, Policymakers, Allies, and Litigators pages. A good external source for research on predatory lending and related issues is www.knowledgeplex.org
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- A Roll of the Dice: Debt Settlement Still a Risky Strategy for Debt-Burdened Households
November 19, 2013
Debt settlement programs too often are not the solution they are marketed to be, according to this new CRL research.
- Debt Settlement Firms Adopt "Attorney Model" to Evade State and Federal Rules
November 7, 2013
This paper discusses debt settlement firms’ increased use of affiliations with legal firms to circumvent state and federal restrictions on upfront fees and other unfair and deceptive practices.
- Civil Rights Groups to Federal Regulators: We Support Aligning Mortgage Rules and Oppose Down Payment Requirements
October 31, 2013
A host of civil rights and fair housing groups joined with CRL in submitting comments to federal financial regulators and HUD.
- CRL Testimony to Senate Banking Committee : Preserve What Works, Reform What Needs Change
October 29, 2013
In testimony before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, Eric Stein, CRL Senior Vice-President, reminded lawmakers that consumer concerns must not be lost in proposed housing finance reforms.
- Letter to Federal Regulators: Stop Illegal Payday Loans
October 28, 2013
The National Consumer Law Center, Consumer Federation of America, Center for Responsible Lending and 26 other consumer and civil rights groups sent a letter to federal regulators urging stronger measures to stop illegal payments from being taken out of consumers’ bank accounts. The letter went to federal bank regulators, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the Federal Trade Commission.
- Fixing What Went Wrong and Building on What Works in Housing Finance
October 17, 2013
CRL proposes housing policy reforms for the GSEs.
- Effective State and Federal Payday Lending Enforcement: Paving the Way for Broader, Stronger Protections
October 4, 2013
The predatory features of payday loans, and the impact of their long-term debt on consumers, have in recent years drawn the attention of legislators and regulators. Policymakers at all levels have acted to limit the payday lending debt trap, particularly in recent months.
- Visualizing the State of Lending
September 23, 2013
Graphs, charts, and other visual resources to help give the full picture of the State of Lending in America today. Based on CRL's original research.
- Civil Rights Leaders on Mortgages: Preserve Access and Low Down Payments
September 12, 2013
- Poll Shows Strong Consumer Support for Financial Regulation
September 11, 2013
Over 90 percent of likely voters support financial regulation.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Offers Four Paths to Qualified Mortgage Status
September 11, 2013
An overview of the Qualified Mortgage (QM) definition.
- The State of Lending: Bank Payday Loans
September 10, 2013
Even in the face of strong opposition by banking regulators, a few banks continue to make triple-digit payday loans. In this chapter, our analysis shows no meaningful distinction between storefront payday lending and bank payday lending. Banks give their products names such as “Ready Advance” and “Early Access,” but these loans come with the same predatory features and produce the same negative outcomes for borrowers.
- The State of Lending: Payday Loans
September 10, 2013
Payday loans—high-cost, quick-fix loans that trap borrowers in debt by design—cost cash-strapped American families $3.4 billion in fees every year. Of that number, more than two-thirds—$2.6 billion--is a direct result of churning borrowers into loan after unaffordable loan. This churning dramatically increases payday lending fees without providing borrowers with access to new credit.
- Monitor Report: 643,000 Borrowers Received Over $51 billion in Benefits
September 6, 2013
AG Mortgage Settlement report shows 643,000 borrowers benefitted from AG settlement.
- 2013 Update: The Spillover Costs of Foreclosures
August 29, 2013
The harm caused by over 12.5 million foreclosures is the focus of this brief, the fifth in a series of updated on related findings.
- Government-Mandated Down Payment Standards Would Harm the Economy, Deny Homeownership to Credit-Worthy Families
August 15, 2013
Government mandated down payments would deny homeownership opportunities.
- Comments by CRL and other Consumer Advocates to Department of Defense: Limitations on Terms of Consumer Credit
August 1, 2013
The Department of Defense is currently considering public comments and recommendations from other regulators on strengthening protections under the Military Lending Act. CRL and other groups have urged the DoD to significantly broaden the definition of credit covered under the law's 36% APR limit to include, among other products, all payday loans regardless of how they are structured or how long their term is.
- Foreclosure Counseling: Areas of Greatest Need in 2013
July 31, 2013
Where foreclosures have hit the hardest and where the greatest need still remains in 2013 is the focus of this analysis on foreclosure counseling.
- The State of Lending: High-Cost Overdraft Fees
July 30, 2013
Many banks and credit unions continue to charge abusive fees on debit cards and checking accounts. In this report, "High-cost Overdraft Practices," CRL finds that, in spite of regulatory changes in recent years, consumers paid more than $16 billion in fees during 2011. Debit cards have the most expensive and disproportionate fees.
- Testimony: Seniors Vulnerable to Predatory Payday Loans
July 24, 2013
Rebecca Borné, senior policy counsel for CRL, testifies on the harms of payday loans and how seniors are particularly vulnerable. The Senate Special Committee on Aging held this hearing to examine the impact of payday loans on older Americans.