CRL in the News
On March 28, the House Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit held a hearing that examined recent trends in lending and how the current regulatory climate impacts the availability of credit for consumers and small businesses.
Dismantling lending regulations and weakening the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau would deal a blow to the entire economy, according to Mike Calhoun, president of the Center for Responsible Lending.
By attacking vacant, blighted and “zombie” properties, officials report land banks can stave off the effects of those properties on neighbors. In 2009, the Center for Responsible Lending projected that homeowners living near a foreclosed property, on average, would lose $7,200 in property value, and projected a four-year increase in losses to $20,300 per household.
Last year, the CFPB proposed the first comprehensive federal rules to deal with these debt traps that cost consumers $8 billion per year in fees. These rules would require lenders to verify whether borrowers would truly be able to pay back a loan, restrict the ability of balances to spiral out of control, and make it more difficult for lenders to repeatedly drain borrowers’ bank accounts.
Most students who enroll in for-profit colleges in Connecticut don't graduate, and those who do are deeper in debt, according to the Center for Responsible Lending The group's report says only 35 percent of students graduate from for-profit colleges in the state, compared to more than half of students at public colleges and two-thirds in private, not-for-profit schools.
Lisa Stifler, subdirectora del centro de política estatal, indicó que aquellos que se gradúan de las universidades con fines de lucro terminan con niveles sustancialmente más altos de deuda.
Chris Kukla with the Center for Responsible Lending said there are safety concerns. “You’re on your way to pick your kids up, you stop at the store and suddenly you can’t start your car and your kids are left alone at a school,” Kukla said. “Or there are certainly stories of families where the mom was trying to get a kid to the emergency room and they got out to the driveway and couldn’t start their car.”
“Lenders were abusing the system to siphon money out of service members’ paychecks,” says Christopher Kukla, an executive vice president at the Center for Responsible Lending who oversees its auto lending work. The CFPB worked with the Defense Department to create new protections in its program, he says. “It’s led to really significant reform.”
While interest rates on short-term loans might seem astronomically high — the pro-regulation Center for Responsible Lending estimates the state’s average payday loan rate to be 653 percent — industry members like Fullmer say small-dollar, short-term loans should be viewed more as an alternative to sky-high overdraft fees offered by banks, or as a last-minute alternative to financial emergencies, such as someone’s utilities being shut off.
Abusive financial practices add up to big bucks. According to the Center for Responsible Lending, the fees associated with payday and car title loans cost workers in America nearly $8 billion per year. For Latinos, the impact is even greater. In the lead up to the Great Recession, financial institutions steered Latino families into subprime loans, even when those families could have qualified for a conventional loan. This led to higher default rates, foreclosures, and an evisceration of two-thirds of Latinos’ household wealth.