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Press Releases

March 23, 2011
New research by the Center for Responsible Lending finds that banks and other loan servicers often foreclose when investors have more to gain from a loan modification. The study—"Fix or Evict? Loan Modifications Return More Value than Foreclosures"—also finds that the industry's poor track record on loan modifications can't be blamed on homeowners who re-default. The research involved running more than 1,500 simulations of the test used by loan servicers to determine whether to modify distressed mortgages or foreclose. CRL found that even with hypothetical re-default rates as high as 79%—...
March 18, 2011
REALTORS®, Homebuilders, consumer groups urge federal regulators to avoid arbitrarily high mortgage down payments, which would hurt the economy by unfairly and unnecessarily closing the door to home ownership for many middle-class families.http://qa.crl.w.lmdagency.net/research-publication/joint-letter-regulators-1 For more information: Kathleen Day at (202) 349-1871 or kathleen.day@responsiblelending.org; Ginna Green at (510) 379-5513 or ginna.green@responsiblelending.org; or Charlene Crowell at (919) 313-8523 or charlene.crowell@responsiblelending.org.
March 15, 2011
Some of the biggest banks in the nation still collect excessive fees from American families by encouraging overdrafts and manipulating their customers' accounts. Recent comments in the media suggesting that Americans overwhelmingly choose this costly product are suspect, in part because they overlook millions of customers at banks that do not offer the costly option for debit card transactions. These reports also ignore the impact of heavy-handed and deceptive marketing by banks who have sold costly overdraft "protection" as a beneficial program. Bank of America and Citibank, the #1 and #4...
March 11, 2011
Responding to widespread evidence of improper accounting, unwarranted fees, false documentation, and arbitrary foreclosure decisions, the 50 state Attorneys General are crafting a long-overdue plan to hold the mortgage servicing industry accountable. The plan would address accusations that banks and servicers have engaged in illegal and negligent servicing practices that have been a continued drag on the U.S. housing market and economy. "When unnecessary foreclosures flood the market, taxpayers end up picking up the tab," said Mike Calhoun, president of CRL. "Loan servicers have...
March 7, 2011
Oakland, Calif.--Californians struggling to overcome heavy debt will have greater protections and greater success if a bill by State Sen. Majority Leader Ellen Corbett (D-San Leandro) becomes law. Debt settlement companies advertise prominently on radio and television that they will reduce debts for pennies on the dollar, aiming to attract consumers dealing with overwhelming debt loads. Yet they typically collect large sums of their clients' money up-front, have a track record of settling very little debt, and often leave clients worse off than they were before. "Many Californians are...
March 4, 2011
Oakland, Calif.—California State Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) and Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) vowed at the end of last year's legislative session that they would not give up on trying to prevent wrongful foreclosures of California homeowners. Their 2010 bill, which would have put an end to banks' pursuing foreclosures while simultaneously considering loan modifications, passed the Senate but failed in the Assembly. This year's California Homeowner Protection Act (SB 729) retains the same major goal as last year's SB 1275: avoiding wrongful...
March 2, 2011
Even as 50,000 new foreclosures start every week, the House Financial Services Committee votes tomorrow on four bills to dismantle programs aimed at helping homeowners. Industry figures show that more households than ever are in some stage of foreclosure, with over five million mortgage holders now at risk of losing their homes. Avoiding unnecessary foreclosures and encouraging loan modifications will be key to economic recovery, as the nation is sorely missing the jobs and growth provided by a healthy housing market. Some say the continuing stream of failed mortgages shows that...
February 23, 2011
Oakland, Calif.—According to a recent poll of registered San José voters, liquor stores and check-cashers are more popular than payday lenders, with payday lenders' unfavorable rating reaching 52 percent while liquor stores and check-cashers had unfavorable ratings of 34 and 46 percent, respectively. Payday lenders make small, short-term loans secured by a borrower's post-dated personal check that carry interest rates of 459 percent APR for a typical two-week period. The loans entrap Californians in a cycle of debt because most borrowers are unable to repay the loan in two weeks with...
February 18, 2011
Washington, D.C. --- The latest figures from the Mortgage Bankers Association show that reported mortgage delinquency rates moved down slightly in fourth quarter 2010, but more than five million homeowners remain at risk of losing their home to foreclosure. The number of homeowners currently in some stage of the foreclosure process actually increased 5% from third quarter. Meanwhile, Hope Now data show that the number of completed loan modifications in 2010Q4 plummeted by 23% over the previous quarter. Only one loan modification is occurring for every 15 homeowners in need of...
February 16, 2011
New credit card rules mandated by the Credit CARD Act of 2009 have resulted in significantly greater price transparency for consumers, a new research report by the Center for Responsible Lending finds. The report, "Credit Card Clarity: CARD Act Reform Works," also finds that—contrary to industry claims—the price consumers pay for credit cards has remained stable and access to credit has not tightened beyond what would be expected from the economic downturn. [For the full report, go to http://qa.crl.w.lmdagency.net/research-publication/credit-card-clarity.] CARD Act reforms have helped...

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