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Press Releases

August 27, 2008
Oakland—AB 1830, the California legislature's strongest piece of legislation designed to rein in the abuses in the mortgage market, passed the Senate today with a 21-16 vote. It must go back to the Assembly for concurrence before being sent to the governor. "The California Legislature has approved a bill with important, though limited, reforms this year," said Paul Leonard, director of the California office of the Center for Responsible Lending. "While it doesn't do everything needed to protect consumers going forward, it represents a positive step to help California borrowers and...
August 21, 2008
Today the entire staff of the Center for Responsible Lending joins the nation in mourning the passing of Representative Stephanie Tubbs Jones. Rep. Tubbs Jones was a courageous and effective advocate on many vital issues, including predatory lending. She recognized the terrible harm caused by reckless and unethical lending practices, and she stood up for more stringent protections for borrowers against abusive loans. With the loss of Rep. Tubbs Jones, our country is losing one of the strongest voices speaking out for economic opportunity for all. We will miss her. -
July 30, 2008
Today President Bush signed into law a housing bill passed by Congress aimed at stabilizing the shaky housing market. A key part of the housing bill will permit struggling homeowners to refinance their mortgages through the Federal Housing Administration—if their lenders and loan servicers agree. The Congressional Budget Office says this program could possibly help 400,000 homeowners, but because the program is voluntary for the loan servicers and lenders, the number of people that would actually avoid foreclosure is largely unknown. The new FHA program should be carefully...
July 25, 2008
Preventing millions of unnecessary foreclosures is important for all of us: the entire economy and every taxpayer. We're facing the wave of foreclosures today because reckless lenders for years mass-marketed bad loans. By the end of the bubble in 2006, six out of every 10 borrowers who got a subprime mortgages could have qualified for a lower-cost conventional loans. Who would knowingly sign a contract that would cost them tens of thousands of dollars more than necessary? The housing bill is a good step but even so will, at best, help about 500,000 families stay in their homes. That's...
July 18, 2008
Consumer Federation of AmericaJean Ann Fox, 928-772-0674 National Consumer Law Center, on behalf of our low income clientsLauren Saunders, 202-452-6252 x105 Center for Responsible LendingKathleen Day, 202-349-1871 As a flood of high-cost and reckless lending saturates our nation, Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) took a crucial and targeted step to clean up abusive consumer lending yesterday by introducing a 36 percent cap on annual interest, a move that will save America's working middle class billions of dollars. Predatory payday lending strips $4.2 billion per year from cash-...
July 14, 2008
(Revised July 23, 2008) Today the Federal Reserve helped return the home lending industry to common-sense business practices by issuing new rules for mortgage lenders. We are pleased to see that the Fed has adopted key protections for borrowers who receive subprime loans, including: Addressing the most substantial cause of current foreclosures, lenders must carefully evaluate a borrower's ability to repay a subprime loan, and verify the income used to do so; Lenders cannot impose abusive prepayment penalties that trap borrowers in short-term subprime ARMs; Lenders must escrow for...
July 11, 2008
While Washington continues to debate how to rein in the risky lending practices that fueled the foreclosure crisis, states are taking action. Earlier this week the North Carolina General Assembly became the first in the nation to ban "yield-spread premiums"—kickbacks that encourage brokers to overcharge—on subprime mortgages. These kickbacks, which brokers received for delivering subprime loans with higher interest rates than the lender had set, are one of the main reasons that subprime borrowers have typically paid thousands of dollars in unnecessary costs on brokered loans. "Consumers...
July 3, 2008
The payday lending industry doesn't want you to know it, but when it comes to protecting paychecks at the Arizona ballot box this November, "no" will mean "yes"—yes to capping payday loans at 36 percent once and for all. The signature-gathering period ends today for a ballot initiative from the payday lending industry. In less than four months, payday lenders have spent nearly $2 million to create a smokescreen around their attempt to legalize predatory payday lending in Arizona forever. Similar desperate industry tactics have so far failed to undo recent payday lending reform in Ohio. By...
July 2, 2008
HOPE NOW claims in a press release today that the mortgage lending industry's program of facilitating voluntary workouts for distressed mortgage holders has helped 1.7 million borrowers stay in their homes. Once again, a closer look at HOPE NOW's data shows these numbers greatly overstate the help being provided and that the foreclosure crisis continues to accelerate and overwhelm industry's voluntary attempts to renegotiate unaffordable home loans. HOPE NOW servicers have been at this for a year now. Clearly they have failed. Delinquencies and foreclosures keep going up, and tens of...
June 30, 2008
Read the report (PDF)>> As IndyMac Bancorp battles questions about its financial stability, a new report from the Center for Responsible Lending provides evidence that IndyMac put itself in a hole by engaging in unsound and abusive lending during the nation's mortgage boom. The report, "'IndyMac: What Went Wrong?," finds substantial evidence that IndyMac routinely made loans with little regard for their customers' ability to repay the loans. CRL's interviews with former employees and a review of lawsuits in 10 states indicate that IndyMac pushed through loans based on...

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