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Press Releases

June 1, 2015
On May 28, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Department of Justice took enforcement action against Provident Funding Associates; the agencies found that the mortgage lender charged higher fees to African American and Hispanic borrowers. As early as 2006, the Center for Responsible Lending documented the pernicious extent of mortgage pricing disparities for borrowers of color by both brokers and lenders ("Unfair Lending", May 2006). CRL senior vice president Paul Leonard offered the following remarks: This action is a reminder that practices with racially discriminatory...
May 28, 2015
Earlier this week, the Federal Trade Commission announced an enforcement action against the for-profit trade school Ashworth College. The federal agency charged the Georgia-based online college with misrepresenting their programs, leaving students with educations that could not lead to proper credentials or careers. CRL senior policy counsel Maura Dundon offers the following remarks: The complaint against Ashworth College gets to the heart of the troubling and persistent for-profit schools matter: students were purposefully misled, often through aggressive and deceptive marketing...
May 18, 2015
On May 12, Senator Richard Shelby unveiled a discussion draft of a bill that would, among other things, undermine key banking and mortgage reforms established by the landmark Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection law. Center for Responsible Lending vice president Mitria Wilson offered the following remarks: For five years, post-crisis lending rules have made the financial system safer by eliminating abusive financial products, reining in reckless behavior, and encouraging more effective oversight. The draft legislation released by Senator Shelby seeks to gut these protections and...
May 15, 2015
The Department of Education announced today it would issue a strong proposed Cash Management rule. The rule would regulate the way colleges can enter into marketing agreements with banks and prepaid card issuers who wish to market to their student populations. It would ban overdraft and point-of-sale fees on some accounts - and require that all accounts be in the "best interests" of students. Center for Responsible Lending senior policy counsel Maura Dundon offers remarks on the Department's proposed rule: The Department of Education should be commended for its strong proposed Cash...
May 14, 2015
On May 14, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will hold a field hearing on student loan servicing and announce a formal Request for Information on the issue of student loan servicing, which may lead to a proposed student loan servicing rule. Center for Responsible Lending senior policy counsel Maura Dundon offers remarks on the consumer protection agency's announcement: Today, the amount of outstanding student debt is in excess of $1.2 trillion – second only to the amount of outstanding mortgage debt in the United States. In order to help borrowers successfully and responsibly...
May 8, 2015
On Monday, May 11, 2015, Mitria Wilson, CRL vice president for government affairs, joined a congressional forum examining how mainstream financial service providers were not fully meeting the needs of many in the middle class – and many who aspire to it – for basic banking services like check cashing services and small dollar loans. The panel explored how this market is often filled by "alternative" financial service providers that sometimes employ predatory practices to trap consumers in a cycle of high fees and debt. Mitria and other panelists discussed steps to protect...
April 30, 2015
This morning, the House Armed Services Committee voted on the National Defense Authorization Act. Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth introduced an amendment before the vote, stripping away provisions that delayed the Defense Department's recommended improvements to the Military Lending Act. Gary Kalman, executive vice president of the Center for Responsible Lending, offers remarks: The members of House Committee on Armed Services who voted to prioritize the safety and welfare of the men and women who serve our country above the interests of payday lenders did the right thing. The Defense...
April 21, 2015
According to a new Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) analysis, federal and state regulator investigations into debt buyers and debt collectors have revealed a widespread pattern of abuses prevalent within the industry that should be addressed by lawmakers. As a result of recent investigations, debt collectors have been forced to pay tens of millions of dollars in fines for multiple counts of illegal activity. The report comes as several state legislatures are considering legislation to put in place new rules-of-the-road for debt collectors to protect consumers. "People should not be...
April 8, 2015
According to a new poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies and released today by the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL), North Carolina voters overwhelmingly disapprove of predatory lending and a bill that would legalize some of the worst lending abuses. The poll shows that 93% of registered North Carolina voters oppose pending legislation, that would allow finance companies to charge over 60% APR. The bill, SB 681, was introduced last month by State Senator Rick Gunn. Download the polling memo. (PDF) Download the full poll results. (PDF) "It's tough to get 93% of people to...
March 31, 2015
A new report released today by the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) finds a high percentage of payday loan borrowers experience a "visible" or "invisible" payday loan default while caught in the debt trap. The report finds that nearly half of all payday borrowers default within the first two years of their first loan; of the borrowers who default, nearly half did so within the first two payday loans they borrow. The report comes only days after the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced a proposal to curtail payday lending abuses that includes a significant loophole: a...

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