U.S. Senators Introduce Bill to Establish Strong, Nationwide Interest Rate Cap

CRL to testify in support of legislation at Senate hearing scheduled for tomorrow morning WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) – chairs of the Senate Armed Services and Senate Banking committees respectively – along with Senators Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) introduced the Veterans and Consumers Fair Credit Act. The legislation would establish a national 36% annual percentage rate (APR) cap for consumer loans while making clear that it would not interfere with state rate limits lower than that. The bill will be considered

Decrease in California Payday Loan Activity

OAKLAND, CALIF. – California’s Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) this week released a report revealing that the state’s payday lenders made fewer than 6.1 million loans with a value of $1.68 billion in 2020, which represents a 40 percent decline overall and a 30 percent decline in customers from 2019. The decrease can be attributed to several factors, including stimulus checks issued by the federal government, local moratoriums on payments and loan forbearances during the COVID-19 pandemic. The decline is consistent with trends in other states and other forms of consumer

Diverse Coalition Urges Department of Education to Scrutinize Sale of Walden University

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL), the Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS), the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), New America’s Higher Education Program, and Veterans Education Success (VES) submitted a letter to the U.S. Department of Education opposing the proposed acquisition of Walden University by Adtalem , a corporation that operates for-profit educational institutions. Adtalem has reached agreement to acquire Walden from another for-profit operator, Laureate Education. The Department gave preliminary approval for the change of ownership

CRL Welcomes OCC Statement to Rescind Misguided Trump-Era CRA Rule, Commitment to Joint Agency Rulemaking

Washington, D.C. – The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) this week announced that it will work to rescind Trump-era rules that weakened the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) and that it will work jointly with the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to strengthen and modernize regulations implementing the CRA. The 2020 CRA rule implemented new standards for evaluating bank performance and for collecting, maintaining, and reporting data used in the evaluation process. The framework was controversial from its inception and was adopted without

CRL Backs Chairwoman Waters’ Legislative Package to Help Address the Affordable Housing Crisis

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) formally introduced three bills to help more people afford to have a roof over their head without sacrificing food, medicine, or other life necessities. The legislative package – the Downpayment Toward Equity Act of 2021, Ending Homelessness Act of 2021, and Housing Is Infrastructure Act of 2021 – has received the endorsement of the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL). “Chairwoman Waters is a long-time champion of fair and affordable housing. Her proposed legislative package addresses our nation’s

HUD’s Imminent Restoration of Fair Housing Rule Is a Victory for Civil Rights

WASHINGTON, DC – Provisions of the Fair Housing Act which fight our nation’s legacy of government-sponsored residential segregation and discrimination could again be enforced if a proposed federal rule is adopted by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), according to a letter released by fair housing groups. The letter supports restoration of the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule which is essential to fostering inclusive housing in communities, and was submitted by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the Center for

On Heels of PHEAA Announcement, Student Loan Payment Pause Should be Extended

WASHINGTON, D.C. – One of the largest student loan debt servicers, the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Authority (PHEAA), announced Thursday that it would no longer service student loans when its contract with the federal government ends in December. PHEAA, which operates as FedLoan Servicing, services student loans for about 8.5 million borrowers, representing approximately 20 percent of all federal student loan borrowers. Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) Senior Policy Counsel Whitney Barkley-Denney issued the following statement: The student debt repayment system in America has

President Signs Resolution Rescinding Injudicious OCC Rule

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, President Biden signed bipartisan Congressional legislation rescinding the misleadingly named “true lender” rule issued by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) late last year. Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Senate Banking Chair Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), House Financial Services Chair Maxine Waters (D-CA), and Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia (D-IL) led the push to overturn the rule. The rule enabled the “ rent-a-bank ” scheme, in which high-cost lenders pay a bank willing to pose as the lender on loan documents in order to charge interest rates far in excess

The Overdraft Protection Act Would Curb Abusive Bank Overdraft Practices

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12) today introduced the Overdraft Protection Act of 2021. This legislation, aimed at establishing fair and transparent practices related to provision of overdraft coverage programs, would provide strong consumer protections and protect vulnerable populations from abusive bank practices. Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) Senior Policy Counsel Rebecca Borné released the following statement: We applaud Congresswoman Maloney for her efforts to curb abusive overdraft fees imposed by banks, which disproportionately affect low-income and Black and

New CFPB Mortgage Servicing Rule Helps Encourage Loan Modifications

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a final rule on mortgage servicing under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). Many families are experiencing long-term income disruptions due to the pandemic and economic crisis – particularly families of color. Over two million homeowners are in payment forbearances scheduled to end this fall and winter. Forbearance exits will strain the system as homeowner and servicer communications reach record levels and as, ideally, servicers process many loan modifications. Center for Responsible Lending