Civil Rights, Fair Housing And Consumer Groups Urge Congress to Advance Housing Investment and Equity in Historic Human Infrastructure Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, national civil rights, housing policy, and consumer protection groups released a letter sent to Congressional leadership and committee chairs calling for inclusion of housing policies that would advance racial and economic equity in the upcoming human infrastructure reconciliation legislation. The letter, linked here , was signed by the Center for Responsible Lending, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders, National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development, National Community

PPP Loan Forgiveness Rules: Bait and Switch?

House Committee on Small Business Hears Testimony on Faulty Forgiveness Rules for the Paycheck Protection Program WASHINGTON, D.C. – Experts in small business lending today told a House committee that confusion around the rules of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is inadvertently saddling many of the smallest businesses – disproportionately owned by people of color – with unanticipated debt. “SBA implementation of this unprecedented program was remarkably fast – but it came with a complex and constantly changing set of rules,” Tracy Ward, Director of the SBA 504 Loan Program at Self-Help

CRL and Self-Help Laud Biden Administration and HUD Secretary Fudge for Proposed Rule to Stop Housing Discrimination

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Center for Responsible Lending (CRL), along with affiliated nonprofits, Self-Help Credit Union and Self-Help Federal Credit Union, today released a comment letter supporting a proposed rule from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to restore the “disparate impact” standard, a crucial legal tool used to identify and eliminate discrimination. Full text of the comment letter is linked here. “Discrimination continues to plague our housing market. It denies economic opportunities to Black and Latino communities and other communities of color, as well as

CRL Lauds HUD and FHFA for New Collaborative Agreement to Combat Housing and Lending Discrimination

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) yesterday announced a first-of-its-kind collaborative agreement for fair housing and fair lending coordination. The Memorandum of Understanding between the agencies aims to promote “information sharing, coordination on investigations, compliance reviews, and the ongoing monitoring of” Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which FHFA regulates. “Where a person lives affects their health, educational opportunities, access to transportation, and proximity to jobs. Housing

CRL and NCLC Research Reveals Two-Thirds of Navient Borrowers Enrolled in IDRs and Making Voluntary Loan Payments During COVID Student Loan Pause Are Underwater

Washington, D.C. — The Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) and the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) issued a new joint policy brief revealing that almost two-thirds (63%) of student loan borrowers enrolled in Income-Driven Repayment Plans (IDR) serviced by Navient who made voluntary loan payments during the COVID-19 federal student loan payment pause are underwater—unable to repay even $1 of their original loan balance. Of the borrowers who are underwater, one-third owe more than 125% of their original balance, despite making at least one payment during the payment pause enacted by the

Fannie Mae’s Inclusion of Positive Rental Payment History in Underwriting will Expand Sustainable Homeownership

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Fannie Mae announced yesterday that positive rental payment history will be considered in its automated underwriting system starting on September 18. Center for Responsible Lending President Mike Calhoun said , “The housing system is replete with inequitable barriers that prevent credit-worthy renters of color and low-income renters from becoming homeowners, denying them a primary path for building family wealth. Fannie Mae’s step to incorporate positive rental payment history into its underwriting platform removes a significant barrier, responsibly expanding access to

U.S. Department of Education Support of State Student Debt Reforms

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, The U.S. Department of Education announced its support of state laws and regulations addressing student loan servicing issues . This action reverses and corrects the anti-borrower position of the previous Administration, which attempted to block state governments from protecting their borrowers against predatory behavior by student loan servicers. Center for Responsible Lending Senior Policy Counsel Whitney Barkley-Denney made the following statement: We are pleased the Department of Education and Federal Student Aid office have acknowledged the importance of states

CRL Welcomes Extension of Student Loan Payment Pause While Calling for Debt Cancellation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Department of Education announced its final extension of the federal student loan repayment forbearance, which includes the suspension of interest accrual and collections activity through January 2022. The previous deadline was September 30th, 2021. Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) Federal Advocacy Director and Senior Counsel Ashley Harrington released the following statement: The pandemic-induced economic crisis dealt a body blow to the personal finances of American families, especially for communities of color. The extension of the federal student loan

The Passing of AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Center for Responsible Lending President Mike Calhoun released the following statement on the passing of AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka: We are saddened by the passing of AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. The working people of America have lost a fierce human rights and labor activist. Unafraid to speak truth to power, Trumka challenged classism, pushed for economic programs and voting rights bills, challenged corporate America, and demanded change. From his early days as the youngest president of the United Mine Workers of America to his days as president of the AFL-CIO

Independence University Hiding Impending Closure from Students and Borrowers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the leadership of Independence University told its faculty the school will close on August 1 in an email that also instructed recipients not to inform students and borrowers of the closure. Independence U. Lays Off Staff, Says Feds Stopped Aid | Republic Report Independence University announced to its staff this week that they would be laid off in the next 60 days because the school lost accreditation and federal funding, but claimed the school would stay open. Enrolling about 7,000 students, it is the last remaining college operated by the Center for Excellence in