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Press Releases

June 4, 2009
Consumers have the deck stacked against them when they are forced into mandatory arbitration by their credit card issuer or other financial services provider, an analysis by the Center for Responsible Lending confirms. Many consumers don't even know that the contracts they sign for most credit cards, auto loans and other small loan products come with hidden clauses that require they use arbitration rather than the courts if a complaint arises. A recent poll shows Americans believe they should have the right to pursue claims in court if they want. The CRL analysis, "Stacked Deck,"...
June 1, 2009
A dismal milestone was reached over the weekend: One million new foreclosures have been filed so far in 2009, according to estimates by the Center for Responsible Lending. This comes on the heels of a new report from the Mortgage Bankers Association, the first quarter 2009 National Delinquency Survey, showing that 12% of all mortgages are now delinquent—the highest level since the MBA started measuring 37 years ago. "The escalation of foreclosures on all types of loans is alarming," said Michael Calhoun, President of CRL. "It's easy to think, "Well, that's tough luck for the...
May 22, 2009
We applaud President Obama and congressional lawmakers on both sides of the aisle for their leadership in swiftly enacting new law to clean up abusive credit card industry practices. The overwhelmingly bipartisan vote in Congress to pass the Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights was a vote on the side of hardworking American families. Today, with the President's signing the bill into law, the White House and Congress have blown the whistle on practices that for too long have tricked and trapped people into debt. The Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights arrives just in time. If deceptive credit...
May 21, 2009
We applaud President Obama for reaffirming the important role of state law in protecting consumers. To that end, we call on federal banking regulators to withdraw their misguided and harmful preemption policy so that state regulators can once again protect their residents from unfair and deceptive financial products. We needn't look further than the current mortgage meltdown for evidence that federal preemption in the financial arena has been unwise and detrimental for tens of millions of American families. The inability of states to enforce their own consumer protection laws ? even as...
May 19, 2009
"We commend the leadership of Senator Dodd and Senator Shelby, the Senate Banking Committee and the Senators whose votes ensured passage of H.R. 627, the Credit CARD Act. This bill, which received overwhelming bipartisan support, will provide consumers with significant protections from industry practices that extract billions of dollars in unfair fees and interest from cardholders every year. "We applaud the Committee for crafting safeguards for millions of American families at a time when our country is experiencing the worst downturn since the Great Depression. Consumers are the...
May 14, 2009
We applaud President Obama for his leadership in pushing for reforms of credit card industry practices that unfairly strip billions of dollars from America's families each year. As organizations representing consumers, civil rights groups, small businesses and labor, we urge swift passage of the Credit CARD Act, a bill championed by Sen. Chris Dodd and Sen. Richard Shelby that enjoys broad, bipartisan support. At today's town hall meeting in New Mexico, the president underscored his belief that strong consumer protections are essential to a sound economy, a lesson we've all learned the...
May 8, 2009
We took a quick sampling of credit card issuers' recent activities to see how they have responded to the Federal Reserve rule changes that were announced in December 2008 but won't take effect until July 2010. We found the top eight issuers, who account for 80 percent of credit card balances, are raising interest rates on a larger portion of customers than usual and increasing the number of fees they impose. The new Fed rule will ban some but not all of these activities. Perhaps most notable is what these issuers—Citigroup, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Capital One, HSBC, Discover,...
May 7, 2009
"We commend the House of Representatives and the House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, along with lead sponsors, Reps. Mel Watt and Brad Miller, on the passage of H.R. 1728, the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act. At its core, this legislation provides that mortgage lenders may only make mortgages that a consumer can afford to repay. While that might seem like basic common sense, today's mortgage crisis was caused by lenders making and refinancing loans with the sole goal of short-term gain rather than long-term sustainability. "H.R. 1728 includes many...
May 5, 2009
"Jack Kemp had many accomplishments: NFL quarterback, member of Congress, secretary of HUD, Republican vice presidential nominee. Driving his public service was an unwavering belief that each and every person deserves a chance to succeed. He was a longtime civil rights advocate and champion of home ownership, most recently fighting an uphill battle for policies that would help millions of financially stressed families avoid foreclosure and stay in their homes. He helped move the ball forward. We will miss him." For more information: Kathleen Day at (202) 349-1871 or kathleen.day@...
April 30, 2009
The Senate today voted down the one common-sense solution that would have prevented over a million families from losing their homes to foreclosure ? allowing bankruptcy judges to modify home loans to fair market terms. This measure would have encouraged mortgage servicers to voluntarily restructure mortgages to make them affordable in much greater numbers, saving up to 1.7 million families from foreclosure. It also would have saved their neighbors from losing an additional $300 billion in reduced property values caused by these preventable foreclosures. The banking industry, after...

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