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Ellen Harnick

Executive Vice President, Director of State Policy, Western Regional Director

Ellen Harnick is executive vice president and director of state policy at the Center for Responsible Lending. Ellen leads CRL’s state policy work, providing technical assistance to community, civil rights and other state-level groups seeking to curtail lending abuses and advance reasonable consumer protections. CRL’s state policy team works with these and other diverse stakeholders, including legislators and attorneys general from both parties, to create and maintain a fair financial marketplace, especially for rural and lower income communities and communities of color.

Before joining CRL, Ellen was a partner in the New York law firm of Friedman Kaplan Seiler & Adelman LLP, where she represented corporate clients. During 2001-2002, she served in the United Nations Mission in Kosovo, focused on developing market economic laws and the transition to democracy. Ellen graduated from Brandeis University and the Georgetown University Law Center.

Research & Policy

Our in-depth research of financial practices is intended to guide policymakers and opinion leaders working to improve the state of lending.



June 7, 2023 | By Polo Rocha | American Banker
Some states, particularly Utah, have relatively loose limits on the interest rates that banks chartered within their borders can charge. Those banks sometimes work with high-cost lenders to offer...
June 6, 2023
OAKLAND, CA – Governor Jared Polis signed into law yesterday a measure to prevent online and out-of-state lenders from making high-cost loans in violation of Colorado law. The measure could be taken...
June 2, 2023 | By Evan Weinberger | Bloomberg
Online lenders have used the Avant and Marlette settlements as a model, choosing to get a state license and be supervised by Colorado financial regulators. Those fintechs are considered the “true...
February 13, 2022 | By Brendan Pedersen | American Banker
But Ellen Harnick, an executive vice president with the Center for Responsible Lending, said more must be done to ensure there are guardrails in place that allow states to protect their residents...