State Officials Condemn Ney-Kanjorski Bill -- State Laws Under Attack

State and federal officials from four states warned today that a bill in Congress would weaken laws against predatory mortgage lending in 36 states, especially the 24 states with major anti-predatory lending laws on their books. The officials are U.S. Rep. Brad Miller (NC), New Mexico Chief Deputy Attorney General Stuart M. Bluestone, Massachusetts Rep. John F. Quinn (Dartmouth) and New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance - Division of Banking Director H. Robert Tillman. The Ney-Kanjorski bill pending in Congress and supported by much of the lending industry would gut the strong laws in

NAR-CRL Brochure Advises Buyer Caution with Specialty Mortgages

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Homebuyers may not realize that monthly payments on some types of specialty mortgages can increase by as much as 50 percent or more when the introductory period ends. That's one of the messages that the National Association of Realtors® and the Center for Responsible Lending are trying to drive home in "Shopping for a Mortgage? Do Your Homework First," a new brochure to inform homebuyers about the risks and advantages of specialty mortgage products. The publication is part of a new NAR consumer education campaign addressing specialty loans and abusive lending practices. The

OCC Should Let Spitzer Enforce Anti-Discrimination Laws

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Center for Responsible Lending joined today with 15 other groups in filing a brief supporting New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer's efforts to enforce discrimination laws against national banks. Spitzer asked the banks to explain why the numbers the federal government requires them to make public each year show racial disparities in the banks' mortgage lending. Some banks contend a state official like Spitzer doesn't have the authority to enforce state discrimination laws against them. Their federal regulator, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, agrees and

Complying with Predatory Lending Laws Costs About One Dollar Per Mortgage

Download the Report Strong Compliance Systems Support Profitable Lending While Reducing Predatory Practices WASHINGTON, D.C. -- When national mortgage finance companies claim that state laws clamping down on predatory lenders will cost borrowers a lot of money, don't believe them. In a report released today, the Center for Responsible Lending estimates that the cost of complying with state predatory lending laws is about one dollar per mortgage. Compared to the $9.1 billion that predatory mortgage lending costs homeowners every year, the cost of weeding out abusive loans may be one of the best

Customers Pay More Than $10B per Year for Overdraft Loans

Download the Report High Cost & Hidden from View: The $10 Billion Overdraft Loan Market It is a product many people never asked for, don't want, and can't afford. Yet they wind up with it anyway. It's the overdraft loans that banks and other financial institutions make -- sometimes at interest rates well over 1,000% -- when customers overdraw their accounts. Some customers aren't even told when they're charged the fees, unwittingly racking up charges that exceed the amounts they borrowed. The nonprofit, nonpartisan Center for Responsible Lending estimates people pay more than $10 billion a

Eakes to Testify at Congressional Hearing

Congress holds hearings Tuesday, May 24th on two predatory mortgage-lending bills, one backed by industry that would gut strong state laws and weaken federal law, the other supported by consumer and civil rights groups and that would protect more people from losing their homes. Martin Eakes, an expert on predatory lending as CEO of the nonprofit, nonpartisan Center for Responsible Lending and the Self-Help Credit Union in Durham, N.C, will testify before the House Subcommittees on Housing and Community Opportunity and Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Tuesday, May 24th at 10 am. Each

Miller, Watt & Frank Promote Predatory Lending Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Reps. Brad Miller, Melvin L. Watt and Barney Frank will hold a press conference Tuesday on their anti-predatory mortgage-lending bill. The Prohibit Predatory Lending Act (HR 1182) strengthens protections against predatory lenders, who are booming as the market for sub-prime mortgages explodes. Predatory lenders cost American homeowners and homebuyers in the sub-prime market, where people with less-than-perfect credit records borrow, more than $9 billion a year. These borrowers who get cheated out of the hard-won equity in their homes are often minorities, rural borrowers and

Car Title Loans Trap Borrowers in Cycle of Debt

Download the Report Car Title Lending: Driving Borrowers to Financial Ruin Washington -– Cash-strapped families risk losing their cars in the latest form of high-cost small lending spreading across America, according to a new report from the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) and Consumer Federation of America (CFA). Borrowers who put their cars on the line to borrow a few hundred dollars for one month become trapped into a cycle of repeated loans with interest rates often around 300 percent. Borrowers often find themselves "rolling over" these loans repeatedly – paying huge amounts in

CRL Testimony: How Payday Lenders Prey on Service Members

DURHAM, N.C. -- A lawyer at the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) will testify tomorrow before a subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Small Business on how payday lenders prey on military personnel. The Subcommittee on Rural Enterprise, Agriculture and Technology meets in Kansas City, Missouri amid newspaper reports on service members victimized by payday lenders, who often get their customers trapped in loans running into more than 400 percent interest. Kathleen Keest, a lawyer for CRL, will tell the legislators that predatory payday lending costs Americans over

Civil Rights Groups Oppose a New Bill that Opens the Door to Predatory Lenders

WASHINGTON, D.C., -- Civil rights groups joined consumer organizations in opposing a bill in Congress that would gut protections against predatory lenders. That bill, introduced by Reps. Bob Ney of Ohio and Paul Kanjorski of Pennsylvania, would make it easier for unscrupulous lenders to rob the nation's most vulnerable families of their homes and savings. NAACP Chairman Julian Bond urged lawmakers to reject the bill and pass instead a bill by Reps. Brad Miller and Mel Watt of North Carolina and Barney Frank of Massachusetts that strengthens defenses against predators. "Representatives Ney and