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Press Releases

August 5, 2010
As the August 15th deadline nears for bank and credit union customers to opt in to high-cost overdraft programs, a new CRL analysis finds these firms market most aggressively and often misleadingly to their most vulnerable customers. Banks target these customers because they likely live on the edge financially and therefore are most likely to repeatedly overdraw accounts. To induce these customers to accept overdraft coverage, many marketing campaigns use scare tactics or incomplete information. For example, they fail to emphasize customers can have debit card transactions declined at no cost...
June 30, 2010
Washington, D.C.— Starting tomorrow, banks must obtain permission from new customers before enrolling them in costly overdraft coverage for debit-card transactions. The Federal Reserve Board's new rule improves the status quo but still falls far short of what's needed: Banks should not be allowed to impose exorbitant charges that bear no reasonable connection to the overdraft amount or a lender's cost for making the loan. Banks also continue to pile on overdraft charges, including by manipulating transactions to maximize the number of fees they hit customers with each day. In...
February 24, 2010
A key federal regulator for years has let national banks engage in lending practices that the regulator itself admits harm consumers and lenders, according to two new reports from the Center for Responsible Lending. (For the full reports go to: http://qa.crl.w.lmdagency.net/research-publication/mainstream-banks-making-payday-loans and http://www.responsiblelending.org/research-publication/national-bank-regulator-enabled-overdraft-abuses) The reports focus on two of many areas in which the regulator—the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, or OCC—has fallen down on the job: payday...
December 11, 2009
Statement from Michael Calhoun President of the Center for Responsible Lending Washington, D.C. – "We are very pleased the U.S. House of Representatives has taken an important step toward restoring our country's financial stability by voting to pass the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009 (H.R. 4173). The bill would provide consumers with significant protections from the industry practices that dismantled our economy and those of countries around the world. We commend the House for this vote to protect families and small business from unfair, unsafe financial...
November 12, 2009
"The Federal Reserve Board's action today on debit card overdraft fees legitimizes an abusive product without providing any substantive protections for bank customers. We appreciate that the Fed chose to implement the strongest overdraft reform rule it was considering, namely requiring banks and credit unions to ask new and existing customers before charging overdraft fees on debit card transactions. But this improvement is undermined by the Fed's failure to propose or enact necessary safeguards against a host of unfair practices. The Fed acknowledges in its new rule that the fees...
November 10, 2009
Statement by Mike Calhoun, President of the Center for Responsible Lending: "The draft legislation to create a Consumer Financial Protection Agency unveiled today by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd is an essential component of urgently needed financial reform. Unfortunately, the banking lobby will exert intense pressure to weaken the bill by carving out special exemptions for some lenders and also by hobbling states' ability to address lending issues in their own jurisdictions. Committee members will need to resist the banking lobby's influence if they are to craft...
October 30, 2009
Congressional proposals to rein in abusive overdraft practices are long overdue, Center for Responsible Lending executive Eric Halperin told the House Financial Services Committee today. Halperin, who is director of CRL's Washington office, gave full support to legislation aimed at reforming bank overdraft programs, which cost consumers $23.7 billion last year and are among the most predatory lending products on the market. "Charging people a $35 fee for a small, debit card transaction is unacceptable," said Halperin, director of CRL's Washington office. "It doesn't save them bounced...
October 29, 2009
(Opportunity Finance Network Press Release - October 29, 2009) Charlotte, NC - Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) announced today that Martin Eakes, a nationally recognized expert on community development finance serving low-income people and communities, received the third annual Ned Gramlich Lifetime Achievement Award for Responsible Lending. Named in memory of the late Federal Reserve Board Governor Edward (Ned) Gramlich, the Award honors a lifetime of achievement in responsible financial services. Gramlich served as a Board Member of OFN after leaving the Federal Reserve Board. Read...
October 26, 2009
October 26, 2009— The Center for Responsible Lending, Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, National Consumer Law Center, on behalf of its low-income clients, and U.S. PIRG applaud Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney as she renews her push for overdraft reform with the "Overdraft Protection Act of 2009" (H.R. 3904), introduced last week. Momentum in Congress toward substantive reform is building and welcome. Abuses have rapidly thrust consumer overdraft fees to well over $20 billion per year. Rep. Maloney's bill, like similar legislation introduced last week by Senator Dodd,...
October 22, 2009
Washington, D.C. – "We commend the leadership of Chairman Barney Frank and the House Financial Services Committee for passing the Consumer Financial Protection Agency legislation (H.R. 3126). It's a strong start to creating an agency that would be solely dedicated to providing financial safeguards for Americans, though before final passage must be substantially strengthened if it is to curtail the abuses that triggered the current economic crisis. To succeed the CFPA must have the oversight and enforcement authority to end the predatory practices that have pushed tens of millions...

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