CRL in the News
There is something, however, auto loans of all sorts share with housing loans that should concern us: a history of discrimination. A 2014 report by the Center for Responsible Lending revealed that blacks and Latinos are more likely to get sold add-on products when purchasing a car—and dealers often told them if they didn’t agree to take on the extra frills, they wouldn’t get approved for the loans.
"There are six million homeowners who are under water," said Calhoun. But many of them did not finance their mortgages through Fannie or Freddie, and, critically, "many of them are making their payments on time," he said. Jim Parrott, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute, said the economy has improved the lot of homeowners who have held on this long. "Because the economy has improved over the last several years the number of delinquent borrowers has fallen off dramatically," he said. Such a program — of which both Calhoun and Parrott were in favor — was highly contentious in 2010.
Diane Standaert, state policy director for the Center for Responsible Lending, said her focus is the extent to which online lenders are using the variance in state usury laws — which limit interest rates on personal loans — to effectively arbitrage high or nonexistent limits and apply them nationwide.
"A recent report from the Center for Responsible Lending payday loans in Florida also highlight the same concerns, showing accumulated interest payment of some $2.5 billion since 2005. In 2015, the average Florida payday loan had an annual rate of 278 percent, and loans roll over on average nine times, in the consumer’s effort to pay outstanding interest."
"Every once in a while a congressional committee hearing can almost seem like a time to grab your popcorn and a seat to hear the exchanges and varying opinions. On April 5, a U.S. Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on consumer finance regulations became one such occasion. The session was convened to publicly 'assess the effects of consumer finance regulations.'"
The U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs convened a hearing to assess the effects of Consumer Finance Regulation. Mike Calhoun, President of the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) offered comments for the committee’s record and issued the following statement.
Although the former Corinthian Colleges, once one of the nation’s largest for-profit colleges, closed its doors last year, many of the problems incurred by its former students persist. The now-defunct college is the only questionable actor among for-profit colleges.
"While federal law already prohibits a wide range of unscrupulous debt-collection practices, some states have gone further, enacting laws and regulations to limit collectors' ability to pursue repayment. The collections industry claims these restrictions hinder consumers’ access to credit, a new report says that just isn’t the case."
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is about to release sweeping new rules that take aim at the payday lending industry, a controversial attempt to rein in loans that offer lifelines to lower-income borrowers but come with staggeringly high fees.
If payment assurance devices really reduced risk for subprime lenders, we should expect to see lower interest rates on those loans, counters Lisa Stifler, an attorney with the Center for Responsible Lending. "The reality is that subprime dealers continue to make loans at interest rates that are at the state maximum," she says. "They're accounting for risk with the interest rates and putting on these devices."