Dear President-Elect Obama...

The Honorable Barack Obama President-Elect of the United States c/o Presidential Transition Team Washington, DC [Via electronic delivery to John Podesta, Larry Summers, Tim Geithner] Dear President-Elect Obama, We, the undersigned leaders of the nation's foremost consumer, community, civil rights and legal services organizations, write to you to state our urgent concerns regarding the need to guarantee consumer and marketplace protections as a fundamental principle guiding both your nominee selections and policy proposals for agencies that deal with housing and credit policy. Collectively, our

Note to New Economic Team: Stopping Foreclosures Essential to Economic Recovery

Today, as the President-elect announces his economic team for the new Administration, the Center for Responsible Lending highlights the urgent need to stop the epidemic of foreclosures and restore a lending environment where ordinary Americans have access to sustainable loans without fearing financial ruin. "We commend the next Administration for assembling a talented and experienced team to address the economic crisis," said Mike Calhoun, president of the Center for Responsible Lending. "We believe this team understands the imperative to curb the losses to financial institutions and the

CRL and industry groups agree on need for FHASecure

CRL has signed a joint letter with the American Bankers Association and other industry trade associations asking the Department of Housing and Urban Development to continue the FHASecure program at least through the end of next year. Extending the program, which otherwise will sunset in December of this year, is one of several vital steps federal officials and lawmakers must take to keep millions of families in their homes, and, in the process, stem the wave of foreclosures that are at the root of the country's economic crisis. A full copy of the letter follows. American Bankers Association

Voters reject 400 percent interest payday loans

Lupe Solis, associate director of advocacy for AARP Arizona Ohio and Arizona voters sent a strong message to the payday industry Tuesday when they used the ballot box to reject abusive payday lending practices in their states. The thumbs-down vote in both states against predatory interest rates of 391 percent came despite a multimillion-dollar ad campaign by the payday industry intended to misinform and mislead the public. Ballot propositions in the two states were initiated by the industry and funded by over $30 million from the payday industry's trade association. By contrast, grass roots

Survey Finds Payday Borrowers Suffering Financial Hardships

Washington , DC - A survey of Detroit households suggests payday loans are no solution for those in financial need. The survey by University of Michigan law professor Michael S. Barr found that respondents using payday loans were more likely to file for bankruptcy, be evicted, or face utility shut-offs than respondents who had not taken a payday loan. Payday lenders have long argued that their loans are helpful to people who can't quite make it to their next paycheck, but research from the Center for Responsible Lending, based on data from state regulators and the payday lending industry

Eakes: Spin and 'outright lies' on cause of economic crisis

This guest column appeared in the Herald Sun (Durham, NC). During times of economic chaos, there is often a tendency to rewrite history. Today, while nearly everyone agrees that reckless subprime loans started this financial crisis, the questions of how and why these loans were made have triggered a frenzy of finger-pointing. Unfortunately, too many fingers are pointing in the wrong direction. Most troubling are accusations blaming the subprime crisis on programs that encouraged responsible homeownership and wealth-building. Some are making the outrageous claim that the government forced

Congress Must Address Foreclosures

Now that Congress has passed the $700 billion bailout bill to address the credit crunch, there is an urgent need to address the root causes of today's economic crisis – massive foreclosures in our communities. Going forward, CRL calls on Congress to act quickly to assist families facing foreclosure. "Any plan that fails to stop foreclosures will ultimately fail to fix the crisis," said Michael Calhoun, president of CRL. "Wall Street firms and banks caused a massive foreclosure crisis in this country, and this bailout provides no meaningful way to end it. It doesn't stop the epidemic of

Payday loans strip wealth from communities of color

Prop 200 will entrench an industry that preys on Arizona's working families Read the Report >> As Arizona citizens consider a measure the payday lending industry, based out of state, has paid to put on the ballot this November and spent millions marketing, they should know the facts about Proposition 200 and payday lending, say national experts and state advocates. A new report from the Center for Responsible Lending sheds some light on the measure and its expected impact. First, Prop 200 offers no reform of the predatory practice of payday lending. Second, it would, in fact, make 400 percent

Proposed Bailout Does Virtually Nothing to Assist Troubled Homeowners

As civil rights, consumer, and housing organizations that represent homeowners and communities devastated by the foreclosure crisis, we are extremely disappointed that the proposed bailout package does virtually nothing to assist troubled borrowers. Provisions discussed in both the House and the Senate to assist homeowners modify their loans and save their homes have been largely abandoned. These provisions would have addressed the root cause of the current economic crisis by helping to stop the decline in home prices and would have given relief through the bankruptcy courts, required

Banker Bailout is Neither Effective nor Fair

Today the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) registered major disappointment with a bailout proposal that fails to address the root causes of today's economic crisis. While agreeing that the current situation calls for substantial government intervention, the Center says the plan that emerged is neither effective nor fair. "Any plan that fails to stop foreclosures will ultimately fail to fix the crisis," said Michael Calhoun, president of CRL. "Wall Street firms and banks caused a massive foreclosure crisis in this country, and this bailout provides no meaningful way to end it. It doesn't