CRL Applauds FHFA Release of Data to Combat Appraisal Bias

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) today published its new Uniform Appraisal Dataset (UAD) Appraisal-Level Public Use File (PUF) on mortgage loans sold to the Federal National Mortgage Association and Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation. FHFA said the dataset can be used to, among other things, study housing valuation, housing market disparities and inequities, and consumer preferences. “CRL applauds the Federal Housing Finance Agency for publishing appraisal-level data for the first time,” said Mitria Spotser, vice president and director of federal policy at the

Consumers Need Strong Protections from Fintech Cash Advances that Create Debt Traps

New policy briefs from CRL and NCLC recommend protections to shield consumers from abusive fintech cash advances WASHINGTON – Today, the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) and the National Consumer Law Center (on behalf of its low-income clients) released an issue brief, “ State Recommendations for Earned Wage Advances and Other Fintech Cash Advances .” “Fintech cash advances are credit and should be regulated as credit, with guardrails to prevent abuses,” said Andrew Kushner, senior policy counsel at the Center for Responsible Lending . “State legislators and regulators should reject

NC Report Finds Converting Criminal Financial Obligations to Civil Judgments Results in Heavy Costs and Low Recovery Rate

DURHAM, NC - North Carolinians involved in the criminal justice system are assessed financial obligations that can add up to thousands of dollars—and most are poor and cannot pay them. The practice of converting these fines and fees to civil judgments has become increasingly common in the state, finds a report released today by the Center for Responsible Lending, Forward Justice, and the North Carolina Justice Center. But very little of the civil debt is paid off, so many individuals subject to the judgments go deep into debt and experience harsh consequences that may last for decades. The

As Supreme Court Considers Argument to Defang the Watchdog, a New Poll Shows Wide, Bipartisan Support for the Consumer Bureau

Over four in five voters back the CFPB’s mission WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following oral arguments made before the U.S. Supreme Court on the future of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a new poll – commissioned by the Center for Responsible Lending and Americans for Financial Reform and released today – shows overwhelming support from Republican, Democratic, and independent voters for the CFPB’s mission and for the Bureau to establish several new consumer protections. Conducted by a bipartisan polling team from Lake Research and Chesapeake Beach Consulting, these new findings are

Supreme Court Hears Case That May Eliminate Agency Key to Financial Stability

Lawsuit poses existential threat to CFPB and, through precedent, to the Federal Reserve, Medicare, and other crucial government services WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Supreme Court tomorrow will hear arguments for Consumer Financial Protection Bureau v. Community Financial Services Association . In CFPB v. CFSA, payday lenders call for the Court to stop CFPB operations – an outcome that would eliminate essential guidance for mortgage lenders and other financial firms and cause economic chaos. Payday lenders claim Congress can fund agencies only through its annual appropriations process – a

Judge’s Ruling that Illegal Discrimination is Not “Unfair” Should be Overturned

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A federal district court judge in Texas ruled last Friday that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) may not monitor companies that provide checking accounts and other non-credit financial services to ensure they are not discriminating based on protected characteristics, such as a person’s race, religion, or sex. The CFPB had pointed to this discrimination as also constituting an unfair practice that it can identify, prohibit, and prosecute, which the law authorizes the CFPB to do. “Illegal discrimination fits the commonsense definition of an unfair practice. To

Press Call with Legal Experts to Preview Upcoming Supreme Court Lawsuit CFPB v. CFSA

Washington, D.C. – On Wednesday, Sept. 13 at 2 pm ET, Americans for Financial Reform (AFR), the Constitutional Accountability Center, and the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) will host a press call to preview one of the most important cases coming before the Supreme Court this term: CFPB v CFSA , a constitutional challenge to the funding structure of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Sign up for the call. The Supreme Court’s decision on whether to overturn the decision of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has implications not only for the last 12 years of consumer

Senate and House Introduce CRAs to Block Student Loan Repayment Plan That Helps Low Income Borrowers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Congresswoman Lisa McClain (R-MI) introduced companion Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolutions yesterday to repeal the Saving on a Valuable Education, or “SAVE,” income-driven repayment (IDR) plan announced by the Biden administration earlier this year. The CRA is a tool Congress can use to overturn final rules from federal agencies. Under SAVE, payments are based on a borrower’s income and family size. Moreover, the amount of a borrower’s discretionary income that applies to repayment is cut in half, which lowers monthly payments. The

CRL Survey: Earned Wage and Digital Cash Advance Users Pay Fees and Tips and Take Multiple Advances to Cover Basic Living Expenses

DURHAM, NC - Consumers who use Earned Wage Advance (EWA) and digital cash advance applications are taking them repeatedly, paying fees and so-called tips, and using the advances to cover basic living expenses, according to survey results released today by the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL). The survey, which asked consumers about their experiences with EWA and cash advance apps, found that 69% of respondents use the advances to cover food, transportation and housing costs. Over 60% of customers of MoneyLion, EarnIn, Brigit and Dave – so-called fintech lenders – took advances one to two

California Regulator Reports Rebound in Post-COVID Predatory Payday Lending

OAKLAND, CA - Payday lending activity increased significantly in California from 2021 to 2022, according to an annual report released by the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) last month. The report tracks the activity of 109 lenders who voluntarily reported their lending. The number of payday loans surged by over 18.4 percent and the dollar value by over 19.2 percent to $1.5 billion. Payday lenders issued this exploitative credit to more than 900,000 individual consumers, an increase of around 14 percent; all these levels had dropped in the state during the