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Press Releases

November 20, 2015
Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1210. The bill would exempt the nation’s largest banks from rules put in place in response to the economic crisis. Specifically, the bill would give legal protections to any bank that holds any mortgage loan in its portfolio. The bank would receive the legal protections even if it ignored certain best practice underwriting standards and charged the high fees and high interest rates associated with the predatory lending in the lead up to the 2008 financial crisis. In response to the vote, CRL president Mike Calhoun said:...
November 13, 2015
A key mortgage lending reform – which would be rolled back by a bill coming up for a vote in the House of Representatives next week – commands the support of an overwhelming majority of voters, according to a poll conducted this summer by Lake Research on behalf of Americans for Financial Reform and the Center for Responsible Lending. New regulations, developed in response to the reckless and deceptive lending practices that fueled the financial crisis of 2008-09, require mortgage lenders to verify a borrower’s ability to repay before making a loan. The “Portfolio Lending and Mortgage...
September 22, 2015
Yesterday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau finalized changes to its Qualified Mortgage (QM) rule. The changes, which raise the number of loans a small creditor can re-sell and expand the number of banks that can qualify as a "rural bank," are a response to feedback from lenders. CRL Policy Counsel Yana Miles issued the following statement: The CFPB's Qualified Mortgage rule changes show a continuing openness to respond to the concerns of small banks and credit unions. These rules make it easier for community lenders to make certain loans. The changes need to be carefully...
September 22, 2015
Despite a number of industry predictions, new data from the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) report today revealed that Dodd-Frank's mortgage protections and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's related new mortgage regulations did not produce a decrease in mortgage accessibility for homebuyers. The data also show that borrowers of color and families with low-to-moderate incomes continue to be underserved in the mortgage market, especially by lenders who sell loans to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. For these borrowers, access to affordable mortgages is very limited. In addition,...
September 1, 2015
The Federal Housing Administration's mutual mortgage insurance fund plays a critical role in providing access to credit so that millions of Americans—many of whom are first-time buyers, come from low- and moderate-income backgrounds, or purchase homes in communities of color—can be successful homeowners. The FHA today proposed revised language on the lender certification of loan and borrower eligibility and lender disbarment. Mike Calhoun, CRL president, commented: The housing market needs to provide consumers with affordable, well-underwritten home loans, ensure the fiscal strength...
August 19, 2015
Today, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) issued a final rule setting affordable housing goals for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the GSEs). Affordable housing goals are meant to ensure that people in lower-wealth communities have access to homeownership and affordable rental housing.[1] FHFA announced that its single-family, low-income home purchase goal for 2015-2017 would be set at a conservative 24 percent, and that the dual-part market and benchmark test that determines if goals are met would remain unchanged. This allows the GSEs to meet the goal even if they fall below the target...
July 8, 2015
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development today released its rule on Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH), taking definitive actions that will address "disparities in housing needs and in access to opportunity, replacing segregated living patterns with truly integrated and balanced living patterns, transforming racially and ethnically concentrated areas of poverty into areas of opportunity, and fostering and maintaining compliance with civil rights and fair housing laws." CRL executive vice president Nikitra Bailey commented: Today the Department of Housing and Urban...
June 1, 2015
On May 28, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Department of Justice took enforcement action against Provident Funding Associates; the agencies found that the mortgage lender charged higher fees to African American and Hispanic borrowers. As early as 2006, the Center for Responsible Lending documented the pernicious extent of mortgage pricing disparities for borrowers of color by both brokers and lenders ("Unfair Lending", May 2006). CRL senior vice president Paul Leonard offered the following remarks: This action is a reminder that practices with racially discriminatory...
May 18, 2015
On May 12, Senator Richard Shelby unveiled a discussion draft of a bill that would, among other things, undermine key banking and mortgage reforms established by the landmark Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection law. Center for Responsible Lending vice president Mitria Wilson offered the following remarks: For five years, post-crisis lending rules have made the financial system safer by eliminating abusive financial products, reining in reckless behavior, and encouraging more effective oversight. The draft legislation released by Senator Shelby seeks to gut these protections and...
January 7, 2015
On Thursday, January 8, 2015, President Obama will formally announce plans in Phoenix, AZ to reduce the cost of mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration – a government agency that secures mortgages primarily for lower and moderate-income borrowers, especially families of color. The plans will: reduce FHA premiums to help make mortgages more affordable; build on successful policies that have helped lead the housing recovery; preserve sound underwriting and strong consumer protections; and continue to strengthen FHA's financial health. The combination...

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