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Ellen Harnick

Western Office Director

Ellen Harnick is the Western Office Director and a Senior Policy Counsel on CRL's State Policy Team. 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 21, 2018
Payday lenders strip $50 million per year from Colorado economy DENVER, CO – The Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) released a report today showing that payday lenders charge Coloradans an...
October 18, 2017
A lawsuit filed yesterday by 17 states and the District of Columbia accuses Education Secretary Betsy DeVos of illegally delaying enforcement of a rule designed to eliminate federal education funding...
January 19, 2017
Today, the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) released research showing troubling outcomes at Colorado’s four-year for-profit colleges. For-profit colleges leave students with lower graduation...
December 15, 2016
Today, the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) released research showing that in Colorado, companies that purchase bad debts and attempt to collect on them frequently pursue the wrong person, try to...