Rollover Bans Don’t Stop Payday Trap

The federal debate on payday lending practices is heating up. A bill in the House, H.R. 1214, features measures intended to reform abusive payday lending but that have failed at the state level to curb loan flipping practices that trap the financially vulnerable. By contrast, Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin (S. 500) and California Rep. Jackie Speier (H.R. 1608) have introduced common-sense bills that would restore consumer protections by placing a 36 percent annual interest-rate cap on consumer loans. The Center for Responsible Lending supports S. 500 and H.R. 1608. CRL's research shows that

Payday Loan Reform Act Must Be Strengthened

"Today the House Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee will hold a hearing on H.R. 1214, the Payday Loan Reform Act. We commend Representative Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), who chairs this Subcommittee and introduced the bill, for his long history of working for economic fairness and financial reform and his interest in addressing payday lending, a practice that frustrates the efforts of low-income families to recover from a cash shortfall and get back on firm financial ground. We continue to oppose the provisions of HR 1214 because they do not address the fundamental problems with

Public Favors 36% Cap On Consumer Loans, Survey Finds

A CRL survey published today finds high levels of support for an annual interest rate cap on consumer loans of no higher than 36 percent. Three out of four Americans with an opinion think that Congress should cap interest rates at some level, and 72 percent think that level should be no higher than 36 percent. Such a cap has been introduced in both the U.S. Senate and House as one strategy for helping to restore the health of our economy and financial systems. Senator Dick Durbin, (D-IL) introduced S500 in late February

Payday lending strips $247 million from California African-Americans and Latinos

Payday stores concentrate in African-American, Latino neighborhoods Race, ethnicity leading factor in determining payday lender location, but not banks' Payday lenders are nearly eight times more concentrated in California's African-American and Latino neighborhoods as compared to white neighborhoods, draining these communities of $247 million in payday loan fees according to new research from the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL). A disparity remains even after accounting for factors like income, poverty rates and education. Federal legislation could address problems with predatory payday

Overdraft Fee Survey Shows That Consumers Want Opt-In Choice

Download Survey Findings U.S consumers overwhelmingly want to be asked their preference before a bank or credit union enrolls them in a program to cover debit card purchases when they do not have the funds, a new Center for Responsible Lending survey finds. Financial institutions typically enroll their customers in a system that covers debit card overdrafts and then assesses them an average $34 fee for each transaction, often on the purchase of an item that costs less than the fee itself. The new survey finds that most people would rather be asked if they want to be in such a program in the

CRL Applauds Bank of America’s Decision to Stop Abusive Debit Card Overdraft Charges

Statement of Mike Calhoun, President, Center for Responsible Lending The Center for Responsible Lending commends Bank of America for its decision to stop charging overdraft fees on debit card purchases. With this change, Bank of America—which issues more debit cards than any other bank— joins another banking giant, Citibank, in practicing responsible debit card overdraft policies. Most other large banks typically charge a $35 fee on an average debit card overdraft of only $17—an exorbitant cost for credit that the bank automatically repays itself only days later from the customer's next

House Takes Vital Action to Stop Foreclosures

Center for Responsible Lending's president, Michael Calhoun, on the House approval of H.R. 1106, which makes court relief on mortgages available for financially distressed homeowners: "We applaud lawmakers in the House for passing legislation that is a crucial piece of the broader White House plan to stem foreclosures. With another family facing foreclosure every 13 seconds, the need to put the economy before politics couldn't be clearer. New numbers released today by the Mortgage Bankers Association underscore how quickly the housing situation continues to deteriorate: In 2008 more than a

Congress Moves to Restore Common Sense to Consumer Credit

Measure would end abusive 400% interest Washington - A measure introduced in the U.S. Senate yesterday would speed economic recovery efforts by ending high-interest credit schemes that trap working families in a quagmire of debt. The bill from Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), majority whip of the Senate, would cap annual interest rates on consumer credit at 36 percent-a cap that Congress already applied in 2006 nationally to active members of the military. The cap would stop abuses by payday and car-title lenders at a time when keeping as much cash as possible in the hands of working people is

President's Plan to Address the Housing Crisis

More analysis of the Housing Plan >> The housing plan announced today represents a huge step forward for the entire country, and includes responsible and effective actions to reduce the massive foreclosures that triggered today's economic crisis. It represents an essential and overdue investment in correcting the results of bad lending and poor risk management. And it will benefit households from across the economic spectrum, providing new hope for a future with stronger communities and a stronger economy. Previous actions to bail out banks have been necessary to keep the economy afloat, but

Treasury Secretary Geithner’s plan must stop wave of foreclosures

We will not effectively stabilize the nation's banks and financial system until we stop the wave of foreclosures that continues to drive down the economy and harm millions of families. At least 8 million families risk losing their homes to foreclosure in the next four years. These foreclosures drive down the value of all homes, and in turn prevent a recovery of the housing and financial markets. The financial crisis will not end unless these foreclosures are reduced. This year alone there will be 2.4 million foreclosures. The 75 million families who happen to live near those properties will