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Press Releases

September 23, 2008
Hello, I'm Martin Eakes, founder and head of Self Help, one of the nation's largest community development institutions, and I'm also the CEO of the Center for Responsible Lending. I appreciate the invitation from the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights to be here today. The Paulson $700 billion bailout simply will not work to stabilize the economy if it does not address the underlying problem of home foreclosures and falling home prices. As proposed, the bailout has virtually nothing of benefit to middle-class homeowners facing distress. According to Credit Suisse, 6.5 million homes...
September 23, 2008
My name is Candace Weaver and I'm an eighth grade teacher at Roland Grise Middle School in Wilmington, North Carolina. I teach 8th grade language arts and social studies. In December 2005, I refinanced my house to pay bills. My husband was recovering from a heart attack and was out of work. We took out an adjustable rate mortgage with an initial rate of 8.85% that eventually went up to 11.375% two years later. I didn't understand I had an adjustable rate mortgage that could go up from 8.85% to 11.85% after two years. I certainly did not know it could go up as high as 15.85% and that it...
September 23, 2008
A Sample of What Leaders Are Saying … Wall Street aggressively marketed loans that were damaging, deceptive, and led to the worst foreclosure epidemic in decades. The government's so-called solution bails out the very companies that were behind this crisis, but does absolutely nothing to help people stay in their homes. This country is facing the greatest lost of wealth since the Great Depression and Congress needs to step up for ordinary citizens." - Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Founder/President Rainbow Push Coalition * * * Government regulators were blind while mortgage...
September 20, 2008
The government plan announced by Treasury Secretary Paulson and Fed Chairman Bernanke fails to deal with the root cause of the crisis---families in foreclosure----and instead is purely and simply a bailout of the lenders who created this disaster. The bailout will not solve our economic problems because it will do virtually nothing to stop the foreclosure epidemic. Continuing foreclosures will drag down the economy even further. A truly comprehensive plan must also benefit ordinary, hard-working Americans, the ones who already are bearing the brunt of Wall Street's excesses. If it doesn't...
September 15, 2008
Merrill Lynch and Lehman Brothers are the latest corporate casualties in the financial crisis caused by abusive loans from reckless lenders. Even the former chair of the Mortgage Bankers Association now concedes that brokers, lenders and investors "forgot about [their] customers" because "making money and our commission checks were more important." In short, these loans never should have been made. The failure of Lehman and forced sale of Merrill underscore the need for stronger regulation of the mortgage market to prevent this from recurring, and, if we want to fix the economy, the need...
September 11, 2008
The preliminary report issued today by Federal Reserve Board on mortgages made in 2007 suggests that troubling lending patterns of years past persisted, with Latino and African-American families continuing to receive a disproportionate share of high-cost, subprime home loans compared with non-Hispanic white families. Though the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) has not finished a full analysis of the information, which the Fed collects under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA), an initial review shows that abusive lending patterns continued even though the number of higher-cost...
September 9, 2008
Today Martin Eakes, CEO of Self Help and the Center for Responsible Lending, issued the following statement in response to the government's decision to take control of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: "Avoiding foreclosures that don't need to happen is our country's best hope for economic recovery. Now that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have the full backing of the U.S. government, they have the flexibility required to implement mortgage modifications quickly, systematically and fairly. The need for meaningful, large-scale modifications is urgent; preventing foreclosures should be the test by...
August 27, 2008
Oakland—AB 1830, the California legislature's strongest piece of legislation designed to rein in the abuses in the mortgage market, passed the Senate today with a 21-16 vote. It must go back to the Assembly for concurrence before being sent to the governor. "The California Legislature has approved a bill with important, though limited, reforms this year," said Paul Leonard, director of the California office of the Center for Responsible Lending. "While it doesn't do everything needed to protect consumers going forward, it represents a positive step to help California borrowers and...
August 21, 2008
Today the entire staff of the Center for Responsible Lending joins the nation in mourning the passing of Representative Stephanie Tubbs Jones. Rep. Tubbs Jones was a courageous and effective advocate on many vital issues, including predatory lending. She recognized the terrible harm caused by reckless and unethical lending practices, and she stood up for more stringent protections for borrowers against abusive loans. With the loss of Rep. Tubbs Jones, our country is losing one of the strongest voices speaking out for economic opportunity for all. We will miss her. -
July 30, 2008
Today President Bush signed into law a housing bill passed by Congress aimed at stabilizing the shaky housing market. A key part of the housing bill will permit struggling homeowners to refinance their mortgages through the Federal Housing Administration—if their lenders and loan servicers agree. The Congressional Budget Office says this program could possibly help 400,000 homeowners, but because the program is voluntary for the loan servicers and lenders, the number of people that would actually avoid foreclosure is largely unknown. The new FHA program should be carefully...

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