CRL in the News
The “checks cashed” storefronts that line the main drags of poor communities across the country are largely linked to large banking monopolies, sucking assets from poor communities to pad multinational capital flows. According to the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL), average interest rates for payday loans are nearly 400 percent APR. The CFPB’s rule was long overdue, after five years of deliberations in rulemaking, during which the financial-industry lobbyists complained that it would ruin a system that was the only pathway to credit for 30 million consumers.
Mike Calhoun, president of the Center for Responsible Lending, is among consumer watchdogs who are upset that Trump recently chose Mulvaney, a former Republican congressman and current White House budget director, to run the consumer bureau.
The Center for Responsible Lending estimates that payday and car-title lenders rake in about $8 billion a year in combined fees from beleaguered borrowers.
Clearly there’s a role for short-term loans in uncertain economic times. The CFPB’s rules were intended to prevent people from falling into inescapable debt traps.
Debbie Goldstein, executive vice president at the Center for Responsible Lending: So I think this is shocking and disappointing but maybe not surprising…. However, what the CFPB's intent was was to set up a reasonable cushion for reserves for unexpected expenses, just like any of us might do to make sure we have enough for our expenses.
Rebecca Borné, Senior Policy Counsel at the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) blasted the move, saying payday loans with triple digit interest rates need stronger regulation.
"For more than five years, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau studied the issue, welcomed public input, and crafted a rule to help stop the payday loan debt trap," Borné said in a statement to ConsumerAffairs.
Last year, the Obama administration enacted new rules regarding payday lending. They haven't yet come into effect. Now, the Consumer Financial Protection Board says it will reconsider the tighter regulation that would have required payday lenders to make sure the people they lend to can actually repay their loans. The rule was bitterly opposed by some in the lending industry who say it would cut off credit to potential borrowers. Many consumer advocates, however, said the rule would have prevented people from being taken advantage of.
“Today’s announcement is a big deal and could become a terrible deal for consumers,” said Rebecca Borné, senior policy counsel at the Center for Responsible Lending. “The human devastation caused by payday loans, which average nearly 400 percent APR, has been extensively documented.”
"In every state, across the board, for-profit colleges are underperforming non-profit and that their demographics are different. Students who are attending for-profit colleges look different."
Some consumer groups disagree. “Considering the success the CFPB has had in fighting for consumers, it is troubling that H.R. 1264 would essentially exempt a large part of the banking industry from the CFPB’s supervision,” Scott Astrada, director of federal advocacy for the Center for Responsible Lending, told a House subcommittee last week, in testimony opposing the bill.
“Another area where there could be a big change is the consumer complaint database,” said Melissa Stegman, senior policy counsel at the Center for Responsible Lending. Nearly 1 million complaints processed by the agency are published on its website – minus people’s names and identifying information – as a resource for consumers and researchers on corporate practices.