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Press Releases

December 24, 2011
North Carolina has been – and I hope will continue to be – a leader in finding effective solutions to predatory lending. Over the past decade, our lawmakers struck an effective balance between strong financial markets and fair consumer protections, enacting laws that are now models for other states and Congress. In the area of housing, North Carolina has often been in the forefront. Our state was the first to establish protection against predatory mortgage lending. It regulated mortgage brokers and lenders, and passed laws to prevent some of the worst subprime loan abuses. And...
December 21, 2011
Today's Department of Justice fair lending settlement with Countrywide Financial is welcome news in a housing market still reeling from the costs of rampant predatory lending. Countrywide was the largest of the rogue mortgage lenders that caused the current crisis. Regulators' lax lending rules and loose oversight allowed these bad practices to flourish. The DOJ settlement deals exclusively with Countrywide lending prior to the time it was acquired by Bank of America. The acquisition has been good for borrowers and the country because it took a bad actor off the street. But it has been a...
November 17, 2011
2.7 million of the mortgages made at the height of the housing bubble have ended in foreclosure and at least another 3.6 million likely will fail in the next few years, a new CRL research report shows. That means the nation is not yet midway through a foreclosure crisis that mires the economy. The report—Lost Ground, 2011—finds that while most people who have lost their homes have been white and in middle- or higher-income brackets, African-American and Latino families have suffered a disproportionate share of losses. The research also shows that differences in income and...
August 24, 2011
The latest Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) mortgage report shows a rise in 30-day delinquencies, including an increase in late payments on prime, fixed-rate mortgages. Overall, the picture hasn't changed significantly from first quarter, as one in 11 mortgage holders remains at serious risk of foreclosure (60 days delinquent or more). Serious delinquencies and foreclosure starts continued to show declines, as many loan servicers slow down evictions while correcting problems related to robo-signing and other illegal practices. Even so, more than 5.5 million U.S. homeowners are at some...
July 7, 2011
Mortgages servicers should be required to give every mortgage holder "a good-faith review of foreclosure alternatives" before taking steps to take his or her home, CRL president Michael Calhoun told Congress today.&p> In testimony before the House Financial Services Committee's Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit and Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, he recommended that servicers be required to do the following: exhaust alternatives before starting foreclosure proceedings disclose the numbers they use to calculate whether a mortgage...
June 28, 2011
CRL, the National Consumer Law Center and other groups yesterday filed a joint comment letter on why a new proposal by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency makes no sense, will not stand up in court, and should be withdrawn. [Read the letter.] Specifically, the OCC has proposed that nationally chartered banks can continue to ignore state laws governing mortgages, credit cards, bank accounts, and other financial products. That's the same OCC position that contributed to the current mortgage mess, at great cost to taxpayers, shareholders, retirees and homeowners. The OCC's proposal...
June 23, 2011
A diverse coalition of 44 consumer organizations, civil rights groups, lenders, real estate professionals and insurers joined with Members of Congress today urging regulators to make important changes to proposed mortgage lending regulations. The Coalition for Sensible Housing Policy released a joint white paper detailing how the proposed risk retention regulation, and the failure to properly define exemptions for Qualified Residential Mortgages (QRM), would significantly harm creditworthy borrowers while frustrating the nation's fragile housing recovery. The proposed QRM definition is...
June 2, 2011
Kenneth W. Edwards, Policy Counsel for the Center for Responsible Lending, presented the following remarks at a press briefing held to discuss the impact of the proposed Qualified Residential Mortgage (QRM) rule on consumers. Other groups participating in the conference were the Mortgage Bankers Association, Consumer Federation of America, the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, and the National Housing Conference. Good morning, I'm Ken Edwards, Policy Counsel at the Center for Responsible Lending, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research and policy organization dedicated to protecting...
May 27, 2011
The latest National Delinquency Survey issued by the Mortgage Bankers Association for the first quarter shows late mortgage payments and foreclosure starts have been dropping since the end of 2009. However, when you view the bigger picture, the housing market remains shaky, with millions of homeowners still at risk of losing their home. One reason for recent improvements is that foreclosures have been delayed, not stopped, since many lenders have slowed action on delinquencies because of legal problems. As shown in this "Homes at Risk" chart, the longer view of mortgage performance reveals...
April 28, 2011
This week in Sacramento, the banking committees of both houses considered two bills designed to mitigate the effects of California's foreclosure crisis, and both failed in hearing rooms packed with supporters. Both bills, however, will be re-heard next week. Even in light of tremendous involvement from constituents, consumer advocates, labor and grassroots organizations—and on the heels of robo-signing scandals that have caused thousands of wrongful foreclosures—legislators continue to oppose fair and simple legislation that would help Californians and the economy. "...

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