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Press Releases

May 24, 2016
Updated estimate finds overdraft fees drain $14 billion from consumers annually, while analysis of complaint narratives finds the deck stacked against consumers. Financial institutions continue to engage in abusive overdraft practices, according to a new analysis by the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL). Each year, consumers pay nearly $14 billion in overdraft fees. If non-sufficient funds are included, the figure climbs to $17 billion. "CRL's analysis confirms that overdraft abuses continue, carrying an enormous annual price tag for consumers as a whole, and with devastating effects...
February 4, 2016
The CFPB took steps yesterday that underscore the barrier high-cost overdraft programs pose to many consumers, noting that they can lose their bank account as a result excessive fees. The Bureau urged banks to offer and encourage use of accounts with no overdraft fees, noting that while some banks already offer such accounts, many do not. Rachel Anderson, Director of Faith Affairs and the leader of CRL's work on abusive overdraft fees, said: It is difficult to imagine the impact on struggling families who have gained a foothold into the mainstream financial system through access to...
November 20, 2014
Last week, the Consumer Financial Protection hosted a field hearing in Wilmington, DE to discuss proposed regulations for prepaid cards – including how overdraft fees and other credit features should be handled on these prepaid products. Maura Dundon of the Center for Responsible Lending offered the following remarks: The CFPB's proposed rule on prepaid cards, announced at a Wilmington field hearing last week, suggests a number of critical protections that will better protect consumers who use these products. Importantly, the proposed rule would require CARD Act protections...
September 26, 2014
"This proposed regulation, in conjunction with the important efforts of our military service organizations and advocates, veteran service organizations, and responsible lenders, would help ensure that our service members and their families are as far beyond the reach of financial exploitation as possible." Department of Defense, Press Release, September 26, 2014 Today, the Department of Defense released proposed rules to further protect service members and their families from predatory lending practices. Below is a summary of the changes. For more information or to speak with an...
September 24, 2014
This week, CitiBank became the latest in a band of banks to unveil a new checking account – one without checks or overdraft fees. This move not only underlines the rapidly declining use of checks – but also awareness about the harmful financial effects bank fees have on consumers, especially economically vulnerable consumers. Rachel Anderson of CRL comments: Excessive and unpredictable bank fees have a punishing impact on financially vulnerable Americans. These fees can drain accounts and family wealth – and push some families out of the banking system entirely. Of these fees,...
August 1, 2014
Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released a report highlighting the need for robust reform on bank overdraft practices. In response Center for Responsible Lending president Mike Calhoun comments: Today's release underscores the urgent need for reform on banks fees – particularly the practice of tacking on fees on debit card transactions that could be denied at no cost. A report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that overdraft fees on debit cards typically exceed the amount of the overdraft itself. The CFPB's examination found that the median debit...
July 31, 2014
Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released a report highlighting the need for robust reform on bank overdraft practices. In response Center for Responsible Lending president Mike Calhoun comments: Today's release underscores the urgent need for reform on banks fees – particularly the practice of tacking on fees on debit card transactions that could be denied at no cost. A report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that overdraft fees on debit cards typically exceed the amount of the overdraft itself. The CFPB's examination found that the median...
March 11, 2014
The Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) applauds Bank of America for taking another important step that prevents costly overdraft fees for consumers. "Overdraft fees have a punishing impact on financially vulnerable Americans, often ousting them from the banking system altogether," said Gary Kalman, executive vice president of CRL. "CRL commends Bank of America for offering a more responsible approach to banking." Over the last 15 years, overdraft programs have evolved from an occasional courtesy to a practice designed to extract fees from consumers. Revenue from overdraft fees doubled...
July 30, 2013
Many banks and credit unions continue to charge abusive fees on debit cards and checking accounts, according to a new report by the Center for Responsible Lending. "High-Cost Overdraft Practices" finds that, in spite of regulatory changes in recent years, consumers paid more than $16 billion in fees during 2011, many triggered by manipulative banking practices. Debit cards carry fees that are the most disproportionate to the amount of the overdraft, even though banks and credit unions can simply decline these transactions without charging any fee at all. Some financial institutions do...
July 22, 2013
For years many banks and credit unions have manipulated the order of debit and checking transactions to trigger more overdraft fees. In spite of consumer complaints, media attention and costly litigation, some financial institutions persist in this practice. We commend Senator Sherrod Brown for proposing a bill that would stop this sleight-of-hand trick once and for all.Not all banks and credit unions engage in reordering manipulation, but the practice remains widespread. Unfortunately, those that resist responsible and ethical practices undermine the American public's trust in all of our...

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