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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.



April 18, 2020 | By Luis Alonso Lugo | Univision
Ellen Harnick, vicepresidenta ejecutiva del Center for Responsible Lending, dijo que los bancos comerciales han dado prioridad a sus clientes actuales y a empresas más acaudaladas al gestionar...
April 13, 2020
Economic downturns always give rise to businesses offering loans to those in urgent need — and at a high premium, said Ellen Harnick, an executive vice president at the Center for Responsible Lending...
March 18, 2019
DURHAM, N.C. – Debt collection abuses rank first in the type of complaints filed by Washington State military servicemembers to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and second for all consumers...
March 6, 2019 | By Riley Bunch | Idaho Press
A federal rule that would have provided an extra level of consumer protection against payday lending practices has been proposed to be rescinded on the basis that it would reduce access to...