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Press Releases

April 17, 2020
Oakland, CA – As people en masse are losing their jobs and income, creditors are taking from desperately needed stimulus checks in order to collect on debts. The Center for Responsible Lending today continued its call for state and federal officials to take immediate action to protect this emergency funding. Marisabel Torres, Center for Responsible Lending’s Director of California Policy, issued the following statement: The CARES Act stimulus checks are meant to help people meet basic needs like food, housing and medicine – not to pay off creditors. As it stands, a bank could take $1,...
April 17, 2020
Move Puts Communities of Color, Low- and Moderate-Income Families, and Rural Communities at Risk WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) yesterday issued a final rule that exempts more than 1,700 additional financial companies from reporting Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data about their lending. HMDA was enacted to combat lending discrimination by requiring companies to report public data on their mortgage lending, including information on borrower race and ethnicity. The reported information is a critical tool for researchers, advocates, and policymakers...
April 16, 2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Small Business Administration announced that it exhausted its $350 billion funding capacity and is unable to accept new applications. Congress has not been able to agree on how to update the agency’s Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP), a provision of the CARES Act designed to provide forgivable loans to small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the policy recommendations. (PDF) Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) President Mike Calhoun made the following statement: We urge lawmakers to agree on a deal that meets the several critical emergency needs...
March 26, 2020
Banks should not embrace this terrible idea, especially as they are borrowing for free WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, under the cover of a national crisis, five federal bank regulators issued small dollar bank lending guidance that lacks the consumer protections needed to ensure loans do not trap borrowers in a cycle of debt. The guidance was issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Federal Reserve Board (FRB), National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). The guidance does not...
March 25, 2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) Director of Federal Advocacy Ashley Harrington released the following statement today ahead of a vote where the Senate is expected to approve its deal with the White House on a phase three spending bill to address the economic impact of the COVID-19 public health crisis: This bill falls short of providing full relief for hard-working families across the country, especially for LMI families and communities of color who are getting hit hard by this pandemic. In a time of crisis, taxpayer dollars shouldn’t be used to only bail out...
March 23, 2020
Instead, policymakers should incorporate as part of the stimulus package a federal rate cap and a ban on overdraft during crisis WASHINGTON, D.C. – As our nation tries to contain a growing pandemic and our economy heads toward a recession, reporting indicates that bank regulators might choose this moment to eliminate key safeguards that prevent exorbitantly priced, predatory loans. Meanwhile, Senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) have just introduced legislation to establish a 36% annual interest rate cap for new loans while not touching lower state rate caps....
March 23, 2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and the House Democratic Caucus introduced their COVID-19 stimulus package, Take Responsibility for Workers and Families Act. Among the proposals, the bill includes provisions that support student loan debt cancellation and a halt on home foreclosures. Center for Responsible Lending Federal Advocacy Director and Senior Counsel Ashley Harrington released the following statement: This proposal is a great step toward providing families and workers much needed relief as the country continues to tackle...
March 20, 2020
At “time of national crisis,” immediate adoption of bold financial protection and relief measures is needed in stimulus package WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) joined with 26 national civil rights, consumer, housing and labor groups, and 35 state groups in sending a letter to Congress with specific financial services policy proposals that help address the needs of families most at risk from the impending economic collapse. Full text of the letter is included at bottom. The letter states that the “organizations write with urgency to recommend that the...
March 19, 2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) applauded the introduction of an emergency student loan payment and debt cancellation plan introduced by U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). The plan would provide needed relief to federal student loan borrowers through immediate cancellation of monthly student loan payments for the duration of the national emergency caused by the spread of the COVID-19, and a pay down of a minimum $10,000 for all federal student loan borrowers. In July...
March 18, 2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today in a board meeting, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) announced that it has approved industrial loan company (ILC) applications for Square Financial Services, Inc. and federal student loan servicer Nelnet Bank. The agency also recently announced a notice of proposed rulemaking on ILCs. By approving these ILC applications, the FDIC has broadened the ability of commercial companies to engage in banking activities, including online lending. ILCs provide a way into the banking system for commercial companies, which are otherwise not permitted to own...

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