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Press Releases

May 21, 2013
Data released earlier today by HUD shows that the National Mortgage Settlement has brought more than $50 billion in principal reduction and savings to over 620,000 homeowners. Principal reductions and refinancing savings represent 60 percent of the total dollar amount. These savings show this negotiated agreement between the largest banks and state Attorneys General and the Administration is a strong move in the right direction. It provides meaningful relief to homeowners, even though it is not a cure-all for the foreclosure crisis. We look forward to the Monitor's upcoming report on...
May 1, 2013
As the nation struggles to rebuild the housing market and broader economy, the White House's nomination of Rep. Mel Watt to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is encouraging. Rep. Watt has been in Congress for twenty years, ably serving on the House Financial Services Committee. He was one of the first elected officials to warn about the dangers of subprime lending, offering legislation to nip predatory lending in the bud, and tirelessly advocating for ways to prevent needless home foreclosures. Watt brings to FHFA an ability to work with a variety of stakeholders, with many...
April 9, 2013
Two consumer advocacy groups today outlined how state lawmakers can bolster safeguards to prevent unnecessary foreclosures. The recommendations by the Center for Responsible Lending and Consumers Union would close gaps left by new federal mortgage servicing rules and by last year's settlement among 49 state attorneys general, federal officials and the five biggest mortgage servicers. To read the policy paper, go to http://rspnsb.li/ZwS1xu. Despite these recent advances, millions of families remain poised to lose their homes. There is room for states to build on these reforms and help...
March 1, 2013
Today CRL submitted the following letter to the editor of Bloomberg, publisher of Bloomberg Businessweek: The Bloomberg Businessweek Feb. 21 story on the recovery of the housing market, A Phoenix Housing Boom Forms, in Hint of U.S. Recovery, was factual and informative. The magazine cover highlighting this story was anything but. Instead, the cover perpetuates myths about the reasons for the last housing boom, and reinforces disparaging stereotypes about the people hurt most by the housing crash. Your cover completely distorts or ignores the following facts: People of color...
February 13, 2013
Advocates at the Consumer Federation of America, the National Consumer Law Center, the Center for Economic Justice, Consumer Watchdog, the Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project and the Center for Responsible Lending strongly oppose the decision of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) – the federal regulator that oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – to halt Fannie Mae's recent efforts to reduce the cost of force-placed insurance (FPI) for taxpayers and borrowers by over $1 billion a year. Force-placed insurance is property insurance that mortgage servicers...
February 8, 2013
Today's announcement by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development provides a welcome and critically important national standard for discrimination in housing and housing lending. Fair housing is fundamental to every family's pursuit of the American Dream. By issuing this disparate impact rule, HUD reaffirmed the nation's commitment to fairness for all. CRL lauds the vigilance of the entire civil rights community for its long and hard-fought effort helping to make America's reality live up to its promises. For more information, contact Kathleen Day in DC at 202.349.1871 or...
January 17, 2013
New rules from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will benefit millions of Americans by fixing several key problems that have plagued mortgage servicing. The rules establish basic standards such as requiring a timely application of monthly mortgage payments and a prompt correction of errors. The rules also restrict servicers from forcing borrowers into high-cost homeowners' insurance policies—a common, needless and deceptive practice. The rules also will help families save their homes from foreclosure. Protections from "dual tracking"—where servicers simultaneously...
January 10, 2013
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's new rules generally strike a balanced, reasonable approach to mortgage lending and implement important consumer protections. The standard CFPB establishes for a safe, well-underwritten mortgage is appropriately broad enough to include the vast majority of creditworthy home owners, and it is clear enough for lenders and borrowers alike to understand. And the rules preserve legal protection for borrowers with the riskiest loans. The rules—required by the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010—address head-on a key cause of the mortgage meltdown and...
November 29, 2012
The Center for Responsible Lending and the Financial Services Roundtable today asked Congress to extend the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act, which is set to expire at year's end. "This tax law has bi-partisan support and is critical to helping homeowners and communities struggling with the ongoing foreclosure crisis," the two organizations said in joint letters to House and Senate leaders. "Furthermore, the housing market is beginning to show signs of a recovery, and expiration of this law would threaten the recovery." Read the full letters >> For more information: Kathleen...
November 16, 2012
Statement of CRL President Mike Calhoun on today's report by HUD on the FHA's financial status FHA has played a critical role during the housing crisis and the economic downturn. It provided credit to families who otherwise would not have been able to buy homes. This has helped new home owners, but also helped stabilize neighborhoods and communities and boost the economic recovery overall. It is essential that FHA continue to fulfill this role, especially as the recovery continues. It is also essential that FHA operate on a financially sound basis. FHA has already instituted changes so...

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