California response to foreclosure crisis weak

A coalition of California consumer organizations demanded stronger, swifter action on the part of the California legislature in response to the subprime mortgage crisis at a press conference in Sacramento today as well as in testimony before the Senate Banking Committee. The organizations, including California ACORN, the California Reinvestment Coalition (CRC), the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL), Consumer Federation of California (CFC) and Consumers Union recommended a number of policy changes that would both assist current borrowers in crisis and protect future subprime borrowers. "Two

North Carolina Acts to Rein in Reckless Home Lending

Durham NC -- As the disastrous consequences of reckless subprime lending continue to mount, North Carolina lawmakers are standing up for homeowners by making it tougher to offer abusive home loans. Earlier this month, the North Carolina Home Loan Protection Act (HB 1817) passed the State Senate 33-15 and the State House 113-0. Today Governor Mike Easley, a strong supporter of the bill, held a signing ceremony to usher in the new law, which offers stronger protections against dangerous subprime mortgages. The new law directly addresses the current subprime crisis, weeding out questionable

California defaults and foreclosures up again

The second quarter of 2007 featured California's highest foreclosure losses in nearly 20 years, according to DataQuick, the real estate information service based in La Jolla, Calif. Trustees Deeds recorded, which reflect actual home loss due to foreclosure, totaled 17,408 in the second quarter—the highest recorded number of home losses due to foreclosure since DataQuick began collecting data in 1988. "There can be no doubt that California is in the midst of a foreclosure crisis," said Paul Leonard, director of the California office of the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL). "Record level


U.S. banks and credit unions are using abusive overdraft loans to generate $17.5 billion in fees each year, according to a major new study, entitled "Out of Balance," from the nonprofit Center for Responsible Lending (CRL). The study finds that financial institutions are deliberately using overdraft systems that are designed to generate more overdrafts from customers, resulting in enormous fees for banks and credit unions. "Some of our largest financial institutions are hiding behind a smokescreen of misleading terms and murky practices that encourage costly overdrafts," said Eric Halperin

Calhoun Statement: On Interagency Subprime Guidance

Today federal financial regulators issued a key statement on subprime mortgage lending that applies to banks, subsidiaries and affiliates of banks, and credit unions. The statement requires these federally-regulated entities to take common-sense precautions before approving subprime home loans. This action by regulators represents an important first step toward bringing responsibility and integrity to the subprime market. The statement encourages better lending practices that will benefit homeowners in several ways. Notably, the guidance discourages lenders from assessing a borrower's ability

California bill does little to help homeowners

The California legislature's subprime lending bill, SB 385 sponsored by Sen. Michael Machado (D-Linden) fails to protect consumers from dangers in the subprime market, the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) said today. The legislation merely would require California's regulatory agencies to adopt federal guidelines covering certain "nontraditional" mortgage products that the same regulators have already published for comment and plan to finalize later this summer. The bill and the regulations do not cover the subprime products that have been the largest source of defaults and foreclosures.

Ernst Statement: Subprime Mortgage Outlook Still Bleak

Foreclosures, particularly on subprime home loans, continue to rise. The Center for Responsible Lending projects that subprime mortgages made in recent years will ultimately result in the loss of a home for 2.2 million families. Yet, although the sharp upward trend in foreclosures is undeniable, some in the lending industry are criticizing information provided by one data-aggregating firm, RealtyTrac, to suggest that foreclosure concerns have been overblown. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. Recent reports from business analysts, investment banks and even mortgage lenders

Pentagon rules will leave military families unprotected

Put muscle in predatory lending regulations, consumer groups urge Consumer advocates strongly urged the Department of Defense Monday to make significant changes to proposed federal regulations to ensure that predatory lenders can no longer strip earnings from U.S. soldiers and their families. As written, the regulations will leave loopholes large enough for payday, auto title and other predatory lenders to glide through, letting them gouge military borrowers without regard for a pending 36 percent interest rate cap, said the groups in a written response to the Pentagon's request for public

Calhoun Statement: Response to Subprime Lender Proposed Principles

We're glad subprime lenders have recognized that their industry needs to be cleaned up with responsible lending practices. Their statement comes in the wake of a reckless lending spree that, for the most part, was entirely legal under current law. The consequence has been a massive loss in homeownership that is setting millions of hard-working families back, and causing economic hardship in hundreds of communities across the country. The Center for Responsible Lending estimates that over 2.2 million families have lost or will lose their home in the subprime market. We agree with the lenders

Stein Statement: Common-Sense Bankruptcy Solutions Would Save Homes

I'm Eric Stein, chief operating officer of Self-Help, a non-profit community development lender, and senior vice president of the Center for Responsible Lending. Thank you for having me here today to talk about bankruptcy solutions that could help prevent the massive home losses occurring today. As a result of loans that never should have been made, 2.2 million families have already lost or will lose their homes and billions of dollars in wealth. These losses will hurt everyone, not just the families who lose their homes. For example, everyone with a $150,000 house who lives on a block with 3