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Press Releases

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...
October 24, 2012
Foreclosures across the United States have drained nearly $2 trillion in property value from surrounding households, more than half of it from African-American and Latino homeowners, a new study from the Center for Responsible Lending finds. The report, "Collateral Damage: The Spillover Costs of Foreclosures," updates CRL's research on the economic harm that homeowners suffer by living near foreclosed properties—the "spillover" cost. Also, for the first time, the research examines the impact in minority neighborhoods. Read the full report at http://rspnsb.li/QEz2Jf. The spillover...
October 2, 2012
Statement of CRL President Mike Calhoun about the complaint filed yesterday by the Residential Mortgage-backed Securities Working Group, a task force that was formed in January by the Justice Department: "The complaint filed against Bear Stearns, now owned by JPMorgan Chase, is a welcome step in an ongoing investigation of Wall Street investment banking activities leading up to the financial crisis. This is the first action taken by this federal task force to bring accountability and relief to homeowners and others who have suffered the devastating consequences of uprooted families,...
August 9, 2012
The latest Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) survey shows positive trends in the housing market, with delinquencies and foreclosures down from last year. However, the millions of foreclosures still ahead will continue to erode communities and slow economic recovery. The need for aggressive and fair loan modifications remains as strong as ever. In addition, policymakers will sabotage growth and recovery if they leave underwater families stuck in high interest rate loans. About one quarter of all households that hold a mortgage are now underwater. Refinances remain out of reach even for...
July 31, 2012
Restoring the US housing market is critical to our nation's economic recovery. That is why we are disappointed with the Federal Housing Finance Agency's (FHFA) announcement today that it will not permit targeted forgiveness of loan principal balances for struggling homeowners. This decision means that principal reductions are not an option for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans even when reducing principal balances would return more money to those entities than any other type of modification. This is a lost opportunity to stabilize housing markets and property values by giving more...
July 13, 2012
The recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on the Independent Foreclosure Review (IFR) process reveals serious flaws that threaten to undermine the program's success. The IFR is intended to compensate borrowers for mistakes their mortgage servicers made in the foreclosure process. The report critiques the public outreach that has been conducted for the IFR, under which federal banking regulators have ordered 15 major mortgage servicers to review loans in foreclosure in 2009 and 2010 in order to find any mistakes. The IFR has the potential to help as many as 4.3 million...
July 12, 2012
Today's Department of Justice fair lending settlement with Wells Fargo Bank is welcome news, and highlights the benefits of new mortgage rules to combat predatory lending. The DOJ settlement of $175 million settles charges that Wells Fargo steered about 4,000 African-American and Hispanic families into higher-cost subprime mortgages while white borrowers with similar qualifications received safer, cheaper prime loans. DOJ also found that about 30,000 people of color paid more for their mortgages in fees and rates because of their race or ethnicity. New and pending mortgage originator...
July 11, 2012
Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law the California Foreclosure Reduction Act today inLos Angeles. The bills, AB 278 and SB 900, are designed to reduce unnecessary foreclosures in the state and were critical pieces of Attorney General Kamala Harris' Homeowner Bill of Rights. "These common-sense protections have had an uphill battle to the governor's desk," said Paul Leonard, California Director of the Center for Responsible Lending. "But after three years of trying, allCaliforniahomeowners will now have meaningful protections to prevent wrongful foreclosures." AB 278 and SB 900 contain...

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