New CRL Video Explains Why Wage Garnishment Laws Need Reform

WASHINGTON, DC – The Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) today released the latest installment of its “In Focus” video series, calling for updated federal laws to prevent families from falling into poverty due to excessive wage seizures by employers. CRL advocates for the federal government to protect $12,000 in bank accounts and an associated $1,000 per week in wages from garnishment for workers repaying outstanding consumer debt. The current formula, based on the federal minimum wage and which hasn’t been updated since the late 1960s, protects only $217.50 of weekly wages from seizure. CRL

Federal Appeals Court Must Reverse Ruling Barring CFPB From Fighting Mortgage Redlining in Chicago

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) yesterday announced it would appeal to the Seventh Circuit a U.S. District Judge’s February ruling that dismissed the agency’s suit against Townstone Financial, Inc., a Chicago-area nonbank mortgage lender that the agency alleges violated the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) and the Consumer Financial Protection Act. CFPB alleged that Townstone Financial, on a regular radio program, podcasts, and its social media platforms, discouraged Black consumers from applying for credit to purchase homes in the Chicago-Naperville-Elgin

FDIC Should Downgrade Three Banks Engaged in Predatory “Rent-a-Bank” Lending

Utah’s Capital Community and First Electronic Banks and Kentucky’s Republic Bank & Trust accused of predatory lending, evasions of state interest rate limits WASHINGTON, D.C. – A coalition of consumer advocates is urging the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to downgrade the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) rating of three banks. Utah’s Capital Community Bank (CC Bank) and First Electronic Bank, along with Kentucky’s Republic Bank & Trust, use “rent-a-bank” schemes to help third-party, non-bank lenders evade state rate caps on loans with up to 225% annual interest rates, failing to

CRL Praises FHFA for New Housing Policy to Help Homeowners Facing Financial Hardship Stay in their Homes

CRL also urges mortgages servicers to move swiftly in implementing the policy WASHINGTON, D.C. – Financially struggling homeowners who have mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises) will receive help staying in their homes and affording their mortgages in the coming months. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced yesterday that the Enterprises, which FHFA regulates, will strengthen their payment deferral policies by allowing borrowers facing financial hardship to defer up to six months of mortgage payments and repay the past-due amounts at the end of their

Groups Urge Congress Not to Obstruct Final Small Business Data Collection Rule

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Consumer and small business advocacy groups yesterday urged a congressional subcommittee to ensure that entrepreneurs, especially historically underserved entrepreneurs, have fair access to the capital needed to build and grow their businesses. The Center for Responsible Lending (CRL), the National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders (NALCAB) and National CAPACD submitted a letter to the Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access from the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Small Business urging the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

Second Circuit Reaffirms CFPB Funding is Constitutional

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled yesterday that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) funding structure is constitutional. This decision comes as the U.S. Supreme Court plans to hear a separate lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the CFPB funding structure in the coming months. “The Second Circuit rightly reaffirmed that CFPB funding is constitutional – as is clear from judicial precedent, our country’s history, and the text of our Constitution,” said Mitria Spotser, vice president and federal policy director at the Center for

CRL Urges House Panel to Support President Biden’s Student Debt Relief Plan

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development from the U.S. House of Representative holds a hearing today examining the implications of President Biden’s student loan relief policies for borrowers, the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) is releasing its letter to the Subcommittee that states, in part: “The current Administration’s policies go a long way toward fixing a student loan system that was already broken. Therefore, we urge the members of this Committee to not only support the Administration’s efforts, but also encourage the Department of

California DFPI Defines Earned Wage Advance Products as Credit in Proposed Rules

OAKLAND, CA - The California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) proposed new regulations on Friday that would treat Earned Wage Advance (EWA) products as credit and require providers to disclose the true cost of the loan and abide by interest rate caps. The Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) and other advocacy organizations have sounded the alarm as predatory fintech firms, like EWA providers, seek exemptions from consumer credit law in states around the nation. Providers claim the payday advances they market to consumers are not credit, and resist defining certain fees

CRL Lauds HUD Restoration of “Discriminatory Effects” Rule for Fair Housing Enforcement

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on Friday completed a Final Rule, titled Restoring HUD’s Discriminatory Effects Standard, to help guide implementation of the Fair Housing Act of 1968. “Modern housing discrimination operates below the surface, perniciously narrowing life’s opportunities. The Biden-Harris Administration has correctly recognized that to root out discrimination, we need the strong legal tools embedded in this rule to enforce the Fair Housing Act,” said Mitria Spotser, vice president and federal policy director at the Center for Responsible

Alluring Cash-out Refinance Offers Can Be Financial Trap for Homeowners

AEI Housing Center and CRL warn of risks similar to lead-up to 2008 housing crisis WASHINGTON, DC – Non-bank lenders are making cash-out refinance mortgage loans guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Veterans Administration (VA) to cash-strapped homeowners – particularly low wealth and veteran borrowers and those in communities of color – that can provide a quick influx of cash but leave the borrower in a trap that can worsen their financial stability for years to come. A new research brief from the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) Housing Center and the Center for