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Press Releases

April 14, 2016
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced today a new loan modification program that will help borrowers stay in their homes. Under the new program, loan modifications will be available to as many as 30,000 qualified underwater borrowers facing financial hardship with loans now held by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Eligibility also requires that the mortgages have an unpaid principal balance of not more than $250,000 and delinquency of 90 days or longer as of March 1 of this year. Homes must be owner-occupied. Additionally, FHFA will require third party buyers of Fannie and Freddie’...
April 5, 2016
Today the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs convened a hearing to assess the effects of Consumer Finance Regulation. Mike Calhoun, President of the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) offered comments for the committee's record and issued the following statement. In a display of legislative wisdom, Congress created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) with its enactment of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The two were necessary remedies to heal the financial wounds wrought by 8.2 million families who lost their homes to...
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...
March 24, 2016
Latinos, Blacks and Seniors Targeted for High-Cost Loans Floridians have paid more than $2.5 billion in fees on high-cost payday loans over the last decade, according to new research by the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL). Further, in the most recent reported one-year period, June 2014 through May 2015, over $311 million in fees was paid on loans averaging nearly $400. These and other findings from a report entitled, Perfect Storm: Payday Lenders Harm Consumers Despite State Law refute recent claims that an existing state law has protected consumers in the Sunshine State and...
March 16, 2016
The House Financial Services Committee continues its assault on regulators that fulfill their responsibilities to address predatory, high-risk financial practices. Today the Committee attacked the FDIC for curbing banks' involvement in tax refund anticipation loans. These products carry interest rates as high as 500% APR, posing clear consumer protection concerns as well as safety and soundness risks to the handful of banks involved in them. Mike Calhoun, CRL's President, issued the following statement: Tax refund anticipation loans preyed on low-income consumers by charging...
March 15, 2016
Today, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) issued new rules to update the certification process for loans backed by the agency. All lenders making FHA-backed loans must certify that each loan has complied with the appropriate rules that serve to protect both consumers and taxpayers. Lenders who violate the rules could face the liability of having to forfeit FHA insurance and buy back any loans they sold under false representations and pay triple damages. Lenders must also get certified to be eligible to offer FHA backed loans. Rules finalized today are for the individual loan...
February 25, 2016
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Seventeen consumer and civil rights advocacy groups sent a letter today to investor and auto dealer, Warren Buffett, urging him to help end discriminatory auto lending practices in this country. In 2014, Mr. Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway purchased the largest privately-held auto dealership group in the nation, the Van Tuyl Group. The civil rights and consumer groups, which include several of the nation's oldest, largest, and most widely-known civil rights organizations, called Mr. Buffett's attention to the widely documented problem of "racially motivated and...
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...
February 4, 2016
The CFPB took steps yesterday that underscore the barrier high-cost overdraft programs pose to many consumers, noting that they can lose their bank account as a result excessive fees. The Bureau urged banks to offer and encourage use of accounts with no overdraft fees, noting that while some banks already offer such accounts, many do not. Rachel Anderson, Director of Faith Affairs and the leader of CRL's work on abusive overdraft fees, said: It is difficult to imagine the impact on struggling families who have gained a foothold into the mainstream financial system through access to...
February 3, 2016
In the first week of this year’s Black History Month, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that it has reached a settlement with Toyota Motor Credit, which will result in the finance company paying up to $21.9 million in restitution to affected borrowers. Toyota Motor Credit’s past practices resulted in thousands of borrowers of color paying higher interest rates than white borrowers. The company will also change its lending practices to reduce discrimination, and submit to additional oversight to monitor for potential future discriminatory impact. CRL Executive Vice...

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