The Center for Responsible Lending is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research and policy organization dedicated to protecting homeownership and family wealth by working to eliminate abusive financial practices. CRL is affiliated with Self-Help, one of the nation's largest community development financial institutions. (Visit Self-Help's website)
In the late 1990s, homeowners began coming to Self-Help Credit Union seeking help to avoid foreclosure. Unfortunately, it was too late for many of these families. Unscrupulous lenders already had stolen their home equity—their greatest source of wealth and future financial security. The targets for this theft are often among our most vulnerable citizens, including the elderly and working families in minority communities.
In 1999, Self-Help worked with a state coalition to help pass the North Carolina Predatory Lending Law, the first such law in the country. In 2002, Self-Help established the Center for Responsible Lending to build on initial successes and expand our focus to include practices outside of mortgage lending, such as payday lending.
Since then, CRL has conducted or commissioned landmark studies on predatory lending practices and the impact of state laws that protect borrowers. We have also supported state efforts to combat predatory lending and worked for regulatory changes to require responsible practices among lenders nationwide.