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Ellen Harnick

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

Ellen Harnick is an executive vice president, the western regional director, and director of state policy at the Center for Responsible Lending. Based in Oakland, California, Ellen leads CRL’s efforts in the Western United States and coordinates state level enforcement strategies. She works with diverse stake-holders, state legislators, and Attorneys General from both parties to curtail lending abuses and advance reasonable consumer protections. At the federal level, Ellen has testified on mortgage and consumer protection matters at congressional hearings on interventions needed to mitigate the impacts of the foreclosure crisis, and maintaining access to responsible credit for low-income families. Prior to covering western states, Ellen led CRL’s policy work in the North Carolina General Assembly.

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.



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...
February 11, 2022 | By Ben Popken | NBC News
“The economic impacts of this crisis highlight how communities of color are disproportionately harmed by structural inequities that exacerbate the impact of lower incomes, stagnant wages, lack of...
June 18, 2020
Listen to an interview with Ellen Harnick on KCBS Radio in San Francisco about the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. She also offers tips for maintaining and protecting your credit score...
May 4, 2020 | By Conor McCue | CBS Denver
A recent survey by the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) found the odds are against businesses owned by people of color. A report done by the group estimates “roughly 95% of Black-owned businesses...