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Press Releases

March 2, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Senate confirmed Dr. Cecilia Rouse as Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers (C.E.A.) by a 95 to 4 vote—making her the first Black leader in its 75-year history. Center for Responsible Lending Executive Vice President Nikitra Bailey released the following statement today on her confirmation: Dr. Cecilia Rouse has long focused on discrimination and the harmful influences that have kept people of color from building wealth in America. Her historic appointment and her attention to solutions-oriented policies that help historically disadvantaged groups—...
March 1, 2021
OAKLAND, Calif.– The Center for Responsible Lending (CRL), Public Counsel, Western Center on Law and Poverty (WCLP), Fines and Fees Justice Center (FFJC), Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto (CLSEPA), The Insight Center, and Legal Services for Prisoners with Children (LSPC) filed an amicus brief today in support of the petitioner in California v. Kopp before the California Supreme Court. The petitioner argued that trial courts must hold ability-to-pay hearings before imposing fines and fees – or legal financial obligations (LFOs) – on criminal defendants. The brief explains that...
February 23, 2021
Without needing action from Congress, the plan lays out a path for utility regulation of Fannie and Freddie and for dedicating nearly $100 billion toward addressing the country’s housing needs WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Brookings Institution published a new report by Mike Calhoun, President at the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL), and Lewis Ranieri, Chairman and CEO of Raneiri Solutions LLC, that proposes administrative reforms of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the government-sponsored enterprises, or GSEs) that would greatly advance racial and economic justice. The report, Government-...
February 22, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, President Biden and the Small Business Administration announced several important improvements to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) designed to help small businesses survive the pandemic economy. The $800 billion PPP had structural flaws since its inception that favored larger, more well-resourced businesses. Nearly 95% of Black-owned firms and 91% of Latino-owned firms have no employees beyond the owners, as compared to 78% of white-owned firms. Starting this Wednesday, February 24, PPP approvals will be restricted to businesses with 20 or fewer employees for...
February 22, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, President Biden announced several fixes to the rules of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), including one that will ensure a more accurate determination of the level of small business relief that sole proprietors and independent contractors need and are entitled to receive. Over 100 organizations supporting African American, Latino and immigrant-owned businesses recently called for immediate changes to ensure that relief gets to the business owners who need it the most. This important change will help millions of small business owners across the country,...
February 18, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Center for Community Self-Help (Self-Help) and its policy-focused affiliate, the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL), called for stronger rules implementing the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) – a landmark civil rights and anti-redlining law – in their jointly filed comment letter to the Federal Reserve Board on its Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR). Melissa Stegman, Senior Policy Counsel at CRL, issued the following statement: The COVID-19 crisis has shown how the deck has been stacked against people of color as they look for a small business loan...
February 17, 2021
Seventeen states and DC now cap rates at around 36% or lower to stop abusive debt trap loans, with Illinois poised to become the eighteenth DURHAM, NC – Today, the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) released a new map showing the typical annual interest rate of a payday loan in states across the country. The map reflects a trend toward stopping loans of 400% APR and more, with a long way yet to go before protections cover all U.S. families. In spite of the progress, states with rate caps face threats from predatory lenders that are partnering with out-of-state banks in order to evade...
February 12, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, 100 organizations supporting African American, Latino and immigrant-owned businesses called on the Department of Treasury, the Small Business Administration and Congressional leaders to enact immediate changes to ensure that relief through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) gets to the business owners who need it the most. Organizations signing on include the Center for Responsible Lending, Local Initiatives Support Coalition, American Business Immigration Coalition, Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurship (National ACE), U.S....
February 10, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) released an analysis that connects the dots between student loan default and delinquency rates among Black and Latino business owners and barriers to accessing Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans intended to keep small businesses alive during the pandemic. Over 800,000 self-employed people were behind on their student debt before the pandemic and may be ineligible or have the perception that they are ineligible for the relief they need to survive in a faltering economy. Because of structural inequities including racial...
February 5, 2021
Housing and Civil Rights Groups Call for Homeowner Assistance Fund to Avoid New Wave of Foreclosures and Devastating Effects for Communities of Color WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, leading housing and civil rights groups applauded Senator Jack Reed’s reintroduction of the Homeowner Assistance Fund bill as Congress and the Biden administration consider the next COVID-19 relief package. Senators Sherrod Brown and Patrick Leahy are lead cosponsors of the bill. The Homeowner Assistance Fund would provide a critical safety net for millions of families who are behind on their mortgages or already in...

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