CRL in the News
“These stark disparities in mortgage lending to borrowers of color and low-wealth families occur to the very people hardest hit by abusive lending and the foreclosure crisis. These disparities also come at a time when our nation’s demographics are changing,” said Nikitra Bailey, executive vice president with the Center for Responsible Lending. “The future health of our mortgage market, a major driver of the economy, relies on closing these gaps.”
On top of that, black consumers in North Carolina are more likely to be targeted by predatory payday lenders. The Center for Responsible Lending found that most payday lenders are located in black neighborhoods. Blacks also face a type of behavior from retailers that adds to the feeling of disenfranchisement, or “shopping while black,” such as the allegations against Macy’s for racial profiling against minority customers.
More Americans are getting car loans. Experts say that for the first and second quarters of this year, loans topped the $1 trillion mark. But, at the same time, the number of people who are failing to make their monthly payments is also on the rise. Chris Kukla is the executive vice president of Center for Responsible Lending, a research and advocacy group that fights against abusive lending practices. He says the number of people who are not making their monthly car loan payments for 30 and 60 days is a red flag. He says hundreds of thousands of people could lose their cars.
An expert panel assembled by the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) for its Issues Forum held during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) 46th Annual Legislative Conference cautioned that mortgage lending disparities coupled with public policies and inactions by governmental institutions conspire to impede the growth of Black homeownership. As indicated in NAREB's 2016 report the State of Housing in Black America (SHIBA), the 2016 homeownership rate for Blacks was 41.7%, lower than the national homeownership rate during the Great Depression years of the 1930s.
A coalition of public-interest groups is urging the U.S. Department of Education to begin monitoring stark racial disparities when it comes to student lending. In a letter written to Education Secretary John B. King Jr., the National Consumer Law Center, along with 40 other civil rights, legal-aid and public-interest groups, requested that the government begin collecting data “to ensure that the federal student loan program is a tool that helps students of color, rather than holding them back.”
While the closing of I-T-T Technical Institute campuses in Lexington and Louisville has left students in the lurch, a consumer advocate says the closures are ultimately a good thing. The for-profit technical institute closed all 130 of its for-profit schools last week, leaving 35-thousand students in limbo. The move came after the U-S Department of Education banned I-T-T from accepting new students with federal education loans. Whitney Barkley-Denny with the nonprofit Center for Responsible Lending says I-T-T’s priorities have been questioned for years.
Mike Calhoun is a lawyer and president of the non-profit Center for Responsible Lending. He believes most lawyers wouldn't understand some of the more complex credit card agreements. "You shouldn't have to be a consumer law expert to engage in an ordinary consumer transaction like this," he said.
Although ITT Tech blamed its closures on August 25 Department of Education supervisory actions, the institution was facing multiple state investigations as well as other serious signs of approaching failure.
“These bills were popping up all over the place,” said Diane Standaert, director of state policy at the Center for Responsible Lending, adding that they were “aimed at loosening state laws that protect people from high-cost lending.”
Chris Kukla of the Center for Responsible Lending says Cooper’s office has been a model for other states’ financial regulation. "Over last 10 years, I can’t think of a significant consumer protection area in financial services his office hasn’t been involved in,” Kukla said.