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CRL in the News

September 30, 2020 | By Andre M. Perry | Brookings
The Trump administration has said that they’re seeking to expand opportunity and prosperity for African Americans, specifically by creating a “better climate for minority-owned businesses.” But their actions speak differently: The signature COVID-19 economic relief program for businesses—the Paycheck Protection Program—did not prioritize underserved markets, which negatively impacted thousands of Black-owned firms. In April, the Center for Responsible Lending said that approximately 95% of Black-owned businesses were shut out of COVID-19 relief loans.
September 30, 2020 | By McKenna Moore | Fortune
“Supposedly there’s been a major recovery since the Great Recession, but communities of color haven’t recovered,” Ashley Harrington, the federal advocacy director and senior counsel at the Center for Responsible Lending, says. “They lost over a trillion dollars in wealth that has yet to be regained. We have been most impacted by every single pandemic and recession that has hit this country; and this pandemic, this recession is no different.”
September 23, 2020 | By Charlene Crowell | Winston-Salem Chronicle
“This bill is an inadequate response to our current economic fallout and public health crisis,” said Ashley Harrington, federal advocacy director and senior policy counsel with the Center for Responsible Lending. “More than five months have passed since Congress approved a substantive, bipartisan bill to help families stay afloat during this pandemic. Low-income families, particularly families of color who have yet to recover from the Great Recession, have been hit the hardest by this pandemic and the economic fallout.
September 17, 2020 | By Austin Weinstein | The Charlotte Observer
While a lower required balance limit is good for some consumers, the net effect of the change will be for more of the cost of checking accounts — a free product for most customers — to be financed by the poorest customers, according to Rochelle Sparko, director of North Carolina policy at the Center for Responsible Lending. Those who will pay the service fee will also likely be the ones to pay overdraft fees as well.
September 8, 2020 | By Mark Huffman | Consumer Affairs
The Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) calls the rule change an “end run,” allowing lenders to overcome state regulations that limit interest rates. Critics also call it a “rent-a-bank” scheme, since the bank of record has little involvement in the actual loan, though it may loan the money to the third-party lender, which in turn loans it to the consumer.
August 22, 2020
A long list of worries weighs on us. Our health, our jobs, our children’s education. Are we in danger of foreclosure or eviction? What about racial disparities in policing and justice systems? While we are grappling with these tremendous challenges, federal regulators have something else on their minds: They are methodically easing the way for predatory lenders.
August 6, 2020 | By Sophie Kasakove | The News & Observer

Research has shown that payday lending specifically targets Black communities. In 2005, The Center for Responsible Lending, a nonprofit group that promotes policies to curb predatory lending, found that African-American neighborhoods in North Carolina had three times as many payday loan stores per capita as white neighborhoods.

August 5, 2020 | By Calandra Davis | Hope Policy Institute

In the midst of the growing economic crisis, communities of color are hit disproportionately hard. These communities, particularly Black communities, are still recovering from previous disasters, like Hurricane Katrina and the 2008 foreclosure crisis. The health disparities that plague these communities coincide with the growing economic threat. Policymakers’ responses to COVID-19 must account for pervasive racial and economic inequality, and must prioritize protection from debt-related abuses.

July 6, 2020 | By Kevin Wack | American Banker
The question of whether to allow tech companies to operate banks is a rare issue in which the banking industry is allied with consumer advocacy organizations. Consumer groups that have expressed concerns about the FDIC’s proposal include the Center for Responsible Lending, the National Consumer Law Center and the Woodstock Institute.
July 6, 2020 | By Joyce M Rosenberg | Associated Press

Many banks also enraged owners at the start by rejecting their applications if they didn’t have multiple accounts including existing loans or lines of credit. And some of the biggest banks in the country took a week or more to start accepting applications. The problems made it more difficult for minority businesses to get loans, according to a report from the Center for Responsible Lending, a research group.