California DFPI Defines Earned Wage Advance Products as Credit in Proposed Rules

OAKLAND, CA - The California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) proposed new regulations on Friday that would treat Earned Wage Advance (EWA) products as credit and require providers to disclose the true cost of the loan and abide by interest rate caps. The Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) and other advocacy organizations have sounded the alarm as predatory fintech firms, like EWA providers, seek exemptions from consumer credit law in states around the nation. Providers claim the payday advances they market to consumers are not credit, and resist defining certain fees

CRL Lauds HUD Restoration of “Discriminatory Effects” Rule for Fair Housing Enforcement

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on Friday completed a Final Rule, titled Restoring HUD’s Discriminatory Effects Standard , to help guide implementation of the Fair Housing Act of 1968. “Modern housing discrimination operates below the surface, perniciously narrowing life’s opportunities. The Biden-Harris Administration has correctly recognized that to root out discrimination, we need the strong legal tools embedded in this rule to enforce the Fair Housing Act,” said Mitria Spotser, vice president and federal policy director at the Center for Responsible

Alluring Cash-out Refinance Offers Can Be Financial Trap for Homeowners

AEI Housing Center and CRL warn of risks similar to lead-up to 2008 housing crisis WASHINGTON, DC – Non-bank lenders are making cash-out refinance mortgage loans guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Veterans Administration (VA) to cash-strapped homeowners – particularly low wealth and veteran borrowers and those in communities of color – that can provide a quick influx of cash but leave the borrower in a trap that can worsen their financial stability for years to come. A new research brief from the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) Housing Center and the Center for

FDIC Should Downgrade FinWise Bank Over Predatory ‘Rent-a-Bank’ Lending

Predatory Puppy Loans, Rates up to 160% APR, and High Default Rates Justify Lower Grade on Serving Communities’ Credit Needs WASHINGTON, D.C. – A coalition of consumer advocates submitted a letter to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in connection with the agency's Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) examination of FinWise Bank . FinWise Bank’s lending through American First Finance, Elevate, and Opportunity Financial (OppFi), offering loans at up to 160% APR, raises serious consumer protection issues and fails to meet the convenience and needs of the communities it serves. “The

CRL Recommends Scrutiny of Payday Lending-Like Earned Wage Advance Products in the States

Companies seek endorsement of payday-like products even in states with reasonable usury caps DURHAM, NC -State regulators should treat earned wage advance products like loans and hold lenders to usury and credit standards to prevent these products from putting borrowers into an unaffordable cycle of debt, the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) and other advocates will tell lawmakers today at a Vermont committee hearing. An increasing number of lenders are marketing so-called Earned Wage Advance (EWA) loan products that are similar to payday loans, and are seeking endorsement in several state

House Panel Should Reject Bills that would Neuter Consumer Bureau and Benefit Predatory Lenders

CRL letter warns bills would “eliminate important safeguards for both consumers and the market” WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the House Financial Services Committee’s Financial Institutions and Monetary Policy Subcommittee holds a hearing on various bills to weaken the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) is releasing its letter to the Subcommittee that states, in part: We strongly believe many of the reforms being considered today will harm consumers and the financial markets. These misguided approaches will place every American taxpayer at risk by

OCC Should Require Banks to Clean Up Abusive Overdraft Practices Before Approving Mergers

Letter sent as OCC considers TD Bank’s merger bid WASHINGTON, D.C. – Several civil rights and consumer groups are calling for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) to “ensure that OCC-supervised banks make necessary reforms to their inequitable overdraft programs.” Concerns about the persistence of this type of junk fee and policy prescriptions were expressed in a letter to Acting Comptroller Hsu . The letter, which is included below, was sent by the Center for Responsible Lending, Accountable.US, Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund, California Reinvestment Coalition

Supreme Court to Hear CFPB Case that Imperils Federal Reserve, Medicare and Other Key Agencies

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Supreme Court just announced it will hear Consumer Financial Protection Bureau v. Community Financial Services Association of America, Limited . The lawsuit, which was brought by a trade association for payday lenders, poses an existential threat to funding for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and, by extension, similarly funded agencies. “This case imperils the stable functioning of our government and our economy – all so payday lenders can continue to bleed borrowers dry,” said Nadine Chabrier, senior policy and litigation counsel at the Center for

CRL Applauds Biden-Harris Administration for Cutting Price of Mortgage Insurance for New FHA Home Loans

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Vice President Kamala Harris and U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge announced that for new Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans, the mortgage insurance premium will be reduced by 0.3 percentage point, which translates to around $800 a year in savings for families with the average-sized FHA-insured mortgage of around $270,000. “The Biden-Harris Administration is providing needed breathing room in the tight budgets of families who use FHA mortgages, many of whom are first-time homebuyers, people of color, or individuals with lower-incomes,”

As Supreme Court Considers Hearing Case, Three Numbers Remind Us of Predatory Lending’s Impact Before the CFPB

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As soon as Friday, the Supreme Court could announce it will grant a writ of certiorari to review Community Financial Services Association of America, Limited v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau , a lawsuit brought by the trade association for payday lenders that poses an existential threat to funding for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and, by extension, similarly funded agencies. The CFPB was established as a response to the 2008 Financial Crisis and the abuses it exposed. “Prior to the creation of the Consumer Bureau, there were no meaningful checks on