We are a National Voice Against Abusive Financial Practices

The Center for Responsible Lending is a non-partisan, nonprofit research and policy advocacy organization working to promote financial fairness and economic opportunity for all, end predatory lending, and close the racial wealth gap.

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Recent Research & Policy

Our in-depth research and advocacy informs policymakers, industry and opinion leaders working to improve the state of lending.

Recent Research & Policy

Our in-depth research and advocacy informs policymakers, industry and opinion leaders working to improve the state of lending.

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We communicate complex issues in ways that are compelling and accessible so that policymakers and the public have the information they need to make informed decisions.

Expert Spotlight

The Center for Responsible Lending's staff spans three offices in Durham, NC, Washington, DC, and Oakland, CA.

Mitria Spotser

Vice President & Federal Policy Director

Expertise: Mortgage Lending

Mitria Wilson-Spotser is vice president and federal policy director at the Center for Responsible Lending.

Whitney Barkley-Denney

Deputy Director of State Policy & Senior Policy Counsel

Whitney Barkley-Denney is a deputy director of state policy and a senior policy counsel, based in Durham, NC. She works with state legislatures, attorneys general, and governors to fight predatory lending, exploitative student loan practices, and unscrupulous debt collectors.

Yasmin Farahi

Deputy Director of State Policy & Senior Policy Counsel

Yasmin Farahi is a deputy director of state policy and senior policy counsel based out of CRL’s Durham, North Carolina office. She advises local organizations and lawmakers that are working to eliminate abusive lending practices in their states, with a particular focus on small dollar lending and student loans.

Nadine Chabrier

Senior Policy & Litigation Counsel

Nadine Chabrier is a senior policy counsel working on federal policy and litigation based in the DC office. She has 13 years of litigation experience, most recently as managing partner of DC Capital Law Firm LLP, a consumer-side litigation firm focused on timeshare and debt collection related matters.

Christelle Bamona

Senior Researcher

Christelle Bamona is a senior researcher at the Center for Responsible Lending focusing on student lending, mortgage lending, and predatory debt practices. Prior to CRL, Christelle was an associate at Vega Economics where she specialized in data analysis for financial security litigation involving investment banks. Previously, she conducted economic research on risk management in agriculture for the International Food Policy Research Institute.

Michael Calhoun


Expertise: Mortgage Lending

Mike Calhoun is president of the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL), the policy affiliate of Self-Help, the nation's largest community development lender. He considers himself "fortunate to work with an extraordinarily talented staff and a dedicated coalition of organizations fighting to provide economic opportunity and advancement for low- and moderate-income families and families of color."

Peter Smith

Senior Researcher

Expertise: Overdraft Fees

Peter Smith is a senior researcher leading on overdraft practices, as well as works on mortgages, student loans and bank payday loan issues. Pete has been with CRL since 2005, authoring numerous reports and briefs, and creating body of often-cited research literature.

Jaylon Herbin

Director of Federal Campaigns

Expertise: Student Loans

Jaylon Herbin is the director of federal campaigns for the Center for Responsible Lending. He also focuses on outreach development and student loan debt. Prior to joining CRL, Jaylon served as the district liaison for Congresswoman Alma Adams, North Carolina’s 12th Congressional District, where he was responsible for stakeholder engagement and policy review through constituent services. Throughout his professional career, Jaylon has cultivated his skills in relationship building, organizing, and advocating.

Ellen Harnick

Executive Vice President & Director of State Policy

Expertise: Consumer Finance

Ellen Harnick is an executive vice president and director of state policy at the Center for Responsible Lending. Based in Oakland, California, Ellen leads CRL’s state-level policy work across the United States. She works with diverse stake-holders, state legislators, and Attorneys General from both parties to curtail lending abuses and advance reasonable consumer protections.