CRL in the News
At the height of the financial crisis in 2008, an estimated one out of every 54 homeowners lost their homes. Workers and seniors lost lifetimes’ worth of savings or retirement accounts, small businesses went under, and vulnerable consumers fell victim to toxic and manipulative financial products offered by Wall Street and the big banks.
Presionan para abrir el mercado hipotecario. Aunque el mercado de las casas se expande y se decretan leyes que protegen a los prestatarios, los consumidores latinos y afroamericanos siguen batallando para conseguir crédito hipotecario a buen precio. Una defensora del consumidor comenta sobre la práctica del redlining, la nueva agencia federal que protege a los consumidores de servicios fnancieros, y las perspectivas hacia el año entrante para los compradores de casa.
The study also found that, among ZIP codes with six or more payday lending stores, the share of black and Latino residents exceeded their share of the overall state population. Graciela Aponte-Diaz, director of California policy for the Center for Responsible Lending, said that supported the notion that payday lenders were targeting those communities.
Students should look beyond college-sponsored debit cards when choosing payment options on campus, said Whitney Barkley-Denney, policy counsel with the Center for Responsible Lending. By comparing terms of accounts off campus, she said, they may find accounts with lower fees elsewhere. Credit unions, in particular, may be worth investigating, she said.
A series of developments following the Wells Fargo scandal has now led to the introduction of legislation designed to bring financial justice to the millions of consumers affected by fees and fraudulent accounts they never authorized nor opened. On Dec. 1, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio introduced a bill that would grant Wells Fargo victims their own day in court — even if they signed contracts that included arbitration for legitimately-opened accounts with the bank.
"The most effective consumer protection laws at the state level should not be undermined by bad new financial products that could open the doors for predatory lending," said Courtney Robinson, policy counsel at the Center for Responsible Lending. "A federally chartered fintech lender would avoid state interest rate caps, leaving people vulnerable to financial services abuse."
“We need a strong and independent CFPB agency and director now more than ever. If the 2008 financial crisis showed us anything, it’s that people need an independent regulator to look after the interests of consumers,” says Mike Calhoun, President of the Center for Responsible Lending. “Director Cordray has led the Bureau with a steady hand and worked tirelessly with his staff to return billions of dollars back to hardworking people across the country harmed by abusive financial practices.”
Although the CFPB is in the crosshairs, moving to effectively neutralize the agency could also backfire for the Trump regime. About nine of 10 Americans say regulating financial products is important to make sure they’re fair to consumers, according to a 2016 survey from the Center for Responsible Lending and Americans for Financial Reform.
South Dakota residents who voted for Trump also overwhelmingly voted in favor of a state measure that caps interest rates on payday loans at 36%; around three-quarters of voters backed the measure. Payday lenders in the state have been able to charge triple-digit interest rates under current law. Voters also rejected a competing measure pushed by the payday industry that would have allowed lenders to charge any interest rate they wanted.
“You’re essentially giving up your safety net,” said Ashley Harrington, counsel with the Center for Responsible Lending. It’s also wise to consider just how much money you’ll save over the long term, she said. You’ll pay a lower rate, but for a longer period of time. The standard student loan repayment plan is 10 years, while most mortgages are 30-year loans (although 15-year loans are an option).