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Whitney Barkley-Denney

Senior Policy Counsel

Whitney Barkley-Denney is legislative policy counsel, based in Durham, NC, where she works with state legislatures, attorneys general, and governors to fight predatory lending, exploitative student loan practices, and unscrupulous debt collectors.

Prior to CRL, Whitney worked on a range of election law issues as director of the Michigan Election Law Project and field director for Election Protection 2008, coordinating law students and attorneys to monitor polls for election irregularities during the 2008 presidential campaign. Whitney clerked for the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, serving in the Voter Protection Division, working to enforce the 1964 Voting Rights Act. She accepted a fellowship from Equal Justice Works/AmeriCorps to do foreclosure assistance work with the Mississippi Center for Justice, developing legal and policy expertise in foreclosure, consumer lending, and for-profit colleges. In 2013 and 2014, Whitney was appointed to the US Department of Education's Federal Rulemaking Committee on Gainful Employment and Programmatic Integrity, helping to set federal financial policy for students.

Whitney attended The College of Charleston, in Charleston (SC), and graduated from the University of Michigan Law School, being named 2009 Woman Law Student of the Year by the National Women Lawyers Association. When she's not at work, Whitney enjoys theater.


May 12, 2020 | By Justin Gray | WSBTV Atlanta
Whitney Barkley-Denney from the Center for Responsible Lending said the federal government can and should force the loan servicers to follow the rules. “They have multimillion dollar contracts with...
March 19, 2020 | By Danielle Douglas-Gabriel | Washington Post
Nelnet, one of the largest student loan-servicing companies, is gearing up to become a bank, a prospect that has consumer groups concerned. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. this week approved...
December 10, 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced today that the University of Phoenix, owned by Apollo Education Group, must pay $191 million to settle federal charges that it used...
October 25, 2019
Continuing state action will hasten fair practices across the industry DURHAM, N.C. – A new wave of state legislation passed in 2019 continues the trend of states addressing abuses in the student...