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Press Releases

June 21, 2017
Measure Would Strengthen Enforcement of Consumer Protection Laws for Military Servicemembers and their Families WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) announced its endorsement of the Military Consumer Enforcement Act, a bill introduced today by former Army Ranger Senator Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and by Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Ranking Members of the Armed Services and the Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs committees respectively. The legislation would give the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) authority to oversee and enforce compliance with...
January 12, 2017
Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a survey which highlights that over one-in-four consumers contacted by a debt collection agency felt threatened. Additionally, the CFPB noted in their survey that one in seven consumers contacted about a debt during the previous year were sued in state court. About 75 percent of those sued do not go to the court hearing, which generally makes them responsible for the debt. The CFPB survey, a first of its kind, provides comprehensive and nationally representative data on consumers’ experiences with debt collection. "The Bureau'...
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 collect the wrong amount, or pursue a debt that is not owed. Debt buyers flood the courts with lawsuits, though they often do not have the documentation to ensure that they are pursing the right person for the right debt. Debt buyers pay pennies on the dollar for bad debts and then attempt to collect the full amount. Further, the debt buyers count on the fact that most people will not hire a...
September 27, 2016
On September 26, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) levied a $9 million fine against TitleMax parent company TMX Finance LLC for failure to tell consumers the terms and costs of auto-title loans sold over a 5-year period, beginning in 2011. The lender was also charged with illegally exposing consumers' personal information to their employers and references. Offering auto-title and personal loans at 1,300 stores in 18 states, TMX is barred from making in-person visits to collect debts and encouraging customers to take longer time to pay a 30-day loan. CRL's Delvin Davis, a...
September 22, 2016
Groups Call for More Robust Documentation Standards to Ensure Debt Collectors Can Prove a Debt Is Owed A coalition of 59 national and state organizations, led by the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC), National Association of Consumer Advocates (NACA), Consumers Union, Americans for Financial Reform, and the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) sent a letter to CFPB Director Richard Cordray urging the Bureau to strengthen its proposed outline to rein in abusive debt collection practices. The coalition, made up of consumer, civil rights, and legal services advocates, highlighted their...
July 28, 2016
Today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) convened a public hearing in Sacramento on the first look at the agency's proposals to address abusive debt collection. The Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) delivered expert testimony that highlighted how millions Americans are affected by this $13 billion industry. Equally important, the public hearing also provides the opportunity to offer initial feedback on the proposals as the Bureau begins its related rulemaking process. "We know from research and enforcement actions in the states that over the past decade debt buyers and...
April 4, 2016
Study confirms urgent need to curtail debt-collection abuses Washington, DC – New research from the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) shows that strong debt-collection reforms do not restrict credit availability. Despite claims from the debt-collection industry, CRL analysis of data from North Carolina and Maryland – two states with recent debt-collection reforms – establishes that there was no sign of any negative impact to consumer credit. Unfair debt-collection practices undermine financial security, especially in low-income communities and households of color, hindering...
February 25, 2016
Missouri Attorney General should move to prohibit suing, collecting, or attempting to collect zombie debts. Jefferson City, MO – The Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) submitted to the Missouri Attorney General, comments to strengthen proposed reforms aimed to curb predatory debt-collection practices. In its comment, CRL submitted background on debt-collection abuses and provided recommendations to prevent the unfair collection of zombie debts, additional unfair collection activities, and unfair accrual of interest above the usury limit. Unfair debt-collection practices undermine...
September 9, 2015
Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced enforcement actions against Encore Capital Group and Portfolio Recovery Associates, the two largest debt buyers active in the United States. According to the Bureau, Encore will pay up to $42 million in refunds to affected consumers, a $10 million fine and cease collection on $125 million in debts. Portfolio will pay $19 million in consumer refunds, a $8 million fine and cease collection on over $3 million in debts. The CFPB documented the companies buying debts that were potentially inaccurate, lacking documentation or...
July 9, 2015
Yesterday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and legal officials from 47 states and Washington, D.C. announced a joint settlement with JPMorgan Chase that will result in the bank paying $136 million in fines and $50 million in restitution based on investigations into its debt collection and debt sales practices. The investigations focused on the selling of "zombie debts" and incorrect consumer data to third-party debt collectors and the use of improper debt collection techniques, including "robo-signing", the rapid signing of legal documents without adequate review. Lisa Stifler,...

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