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Press Releases

October 1, 2010
Five Maine residents filed a complaint today against GMAC Mortgage, LLC (GMAC) on behalf of themselves and a class of Maine homeowners, alleging that the company routinely and systematically files false certifications that it has a right to foreclose on Maine homeowners, and false affidavits when asking courts to enter foreclosure judgments. The homeowners complain that GMAC files these false documents knowing that the courts in Maine will rely on them in deciding whether foreclosures can go forward and in allowing GMAC to sell their homes. Depositions of GMAC employees revealed that...
August 26, 2010
One in seven homeowners with a mortgage is past due or in foreclosure, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's latest report on home loan delinquencies. That's up from one in eight a year ago and one in 11 two years ago. Although there was a dip in the share of homes in foreclosure, the report shows that the foreclosure epidemic continues, with millions of homes still at risk. This data comes on the heels of a report issued this week by the State Foreclosure Prevention Working Group that shows over 60% of seriously delinquent borrowers are not getting any assistance at all from...
August 17, 2010
"For years, consumer advocates have been deeply troubled by 'yield-spread premiums (YSPs),' the routine payments to brokers and lenders that essentially function as kickbacks for overcharging on home loans. The Federal Reserve's final rules on YSPs, issued yesterday, mark a welcome milestone that will finally end this practice—saving money for home buyers and making it easier to shop for the best loan. The Dodd/Frank financial reform bill passed last month contains similar protections on yield-spread premiums that go slightly further than the Fed's final rules. As the reform bill is...
August 17, 2010
Latinos and African Americans in California have experienced significantly higher foreclosure rates than non-Hispanic borrowers in the state, according to first-of-its-kind research released today by the Center for Responsible Lending. As a result, these communities represent more than half of all foreclosures, with 48% of foreclosures on Latinos and 8% on African Americans. These borrowers were more likely to receive higher-cost subprime mortgages with loan terms that typically increased the risk of default, compared with safer loans made to similarly situated non-Hispanic white borrowers...
August 11, 2010
"American families, especially those most vulnerable financially, could save millions of dollars a year in costly overdraft fees if guidelines the FDIC proposed today are adopted. The guidelines would encourage the banks the FDIC oversees to offer customers lower-cost overdraft alternatives rather than charge unlimited high-cost overdraft fees—as many banks do, even on small debit card transactions. Under the proposal, a bank would contact a customer who incurs six overdraft fees within 12 months and offer—and explain—less costly options. The bank would be encouraged to provide the...
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...
July 29, 2010
American families won a major consumer victory today when the Federal Trade Commission issued a new rule barring debt relief firms from collecting up-front fees from customers before any service is provided. We commend the FTC commissioners for exercising their authority to lay down common-sense rules in the debt settlement arena, where unfair and deceptive practices are rampant. The new rule applies to any debt relief firm that either receives a call from or makes a call to a customer. It prohibits these firms from collecting fees up front before they have provided any promised service...
July 21, 2010
President Obama's signing of the financial reform bill today marks a watershed in efforts to restore common sense to lending and financial markets. Our nation now has a roadmap for ending the unfair and deceptive practices that have cost millions of families their financial security and nearly capsized the economy. To members of Congress who worked so diligently to craft this law—and to withstand big-money lobbying against reform—we offer our deepest gratitude. Their support for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and strong lending rules will help all Americans who...
July 15, 2010
The current economic meltdown has been a nightmare for American families, and a recurrence would be a disaster for our nation. The Senate's vote today puts in place key reforms that help create a brighter future, one in which our financial system flourishes: People will get loans they can afford to repay, and principles of fairness and value in financial products will trump easy money and self-enrichment. The Senate's action means President Obama can now sign the legislation into law. The new regulatory framework will go far to reduce risky practices and restore common-sense in financial...
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...

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