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Press Releases

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...
October 21, 2009
Consumer groups strongly support Senator Christopher Dodd for introducing a bill this week that would curb many of the abusive overdraft practices of banks and credit unions. Those practices now strip nearly $24 billion annually from checking accounts, primarily from Americans living paycheck-to-paycheck. The "Fairness and Accountability in Receiving Overdraft Coverage Act" ("FAIR Act") that Dodd has proposed would require financial institutions to obtain explicit permission from all their customers before enrolling them in a system of fee-based overdraft coverage for debit card and ATM...
October 6, 2009
Banks and credit unions collected nearly $24 billion in overdraft fees last year, an increase of 35 percent from just two years earlier, a new study by the Center for Responsible lending shows. The explosion in overdraft charges has drained the wallet of as many as 51 million Americans whose accounts become overdrawn annually. It is particularly harmful to financially vulnerable families already hit hard by the recession. "Banks and credit unions have become so sophisticated in driving up overdrafts that Americans now pay more in overdraft fees every year than they do for books, cereal...
September 25, 2009
"Americans are fed up with bank overdraft practices. Media scrutiny and proposed legislation in Congress prompted three of the nation's largest banks to unveil changes to their overdraft policies this week. But the changes are far from enough and, in fact, underscore the need for comprehensive overdraft reform as quickly as possible. Only one of the three banks has announced significant improvements: It will stop charging overdraft fees on debit card transactions unless customers have explicitly signed up for that kind of coverage. And it will stop the unfair practice most banks follow of...
September 24, 2009
Statement by Mike Calhoun, president of CRL, on credit card legislation proposed today by Joint Economic Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney and House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank "Hard-working Americans who use credit cards to help pay bills, buy groceries, and make ends meet need relief sooner rather than later from the industry's destructive tricks and traps, especially during hard times like these. We commend Chairwoman Maloney and Chairman Frank for proposing that the consumer protections in the recently passed Credit CARD Act be fully implemented December 1,...
September 23, 2009
"We're pleased Chairman Frank remains dedicated to the creation of an agency focused on ensuring that consumer financial markets work fairly. Moving forward, we must ensure that the agency isn't dominated by the regulatory agencies that helped cause the current crisis. We must ensure it has oversight over the financial products that are critical in the daily lives of millions of Americans. And we must ensure that the 50 states can address problems in their own back yards, rather than having to wait for Washington. We look forward to working with Chairman Frank and the committee's members...
September 15, 2009
Foreclosure trends in North Carolina are dramatic and disturbing. Over recent years, foreclosure filings have tripled, with almost 40,000 foreclosure filings in the first eight months of this year. In addition, at the end of the second quarter 2009, the MBA National Delinquency Survey states that one out of ten NC borrowers are behind on their home loan. For the families that lose their home, some of whom will never own a home again, this is devastating. It is also devastating for the neighborhoods where homes sit vacant and property values decline. Despite these disturbing numbers, these...

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