Non-profit

Center for Responsible Lending (CRL)

Website:

www.responsiblelending.org/

Location:

DURHAM, NC

Tax ID:

74-3043913

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2016):

Revenue: $7,405,765
Expenses: $5,947,099
Assets: $7,862,052

Formation:

2002

Founders:

Martin Eakes

Barbara Wright

The Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) is a nationally active policy organization that advocates for limits on non-traditional financial products it believes to be abusive financial practices.[1] It is one of several organizations, including the Self-Help Credit Union, affiliated with the Center for Community Self-Help.[2] CRL has offices in the District of Columbia, North Carolina, and California.[3]

CRL’s activities focus on three broad areas – research, state advocacy, and coalition-building.[4] While its work is “intended to guide policymakers and opinion leaders,”[5] observers have periodically questioned the reliability of CRL’s claims. In 2015, a Washington Post article that fact-checked CRL research regarding auto loan costs identified “a lack of transparency” on CRL’s part about the basis for its calculations.[6] In 2012, academic David Stoez[7] published a paper looking at how, in its criticisms of payday lenders, “CRL misrepresents data in order to further its reform agenda.”[8]

CRL has controversially received funding from the Sandler Foundation of Herb and Marion Sandler. Herb Sandler is a banker who has been criticized for mortgage lending practices in advance of the 2008 financial crisis.[9]

Funding

Foundation support for CRL includes backers such as: Friedman Family Foundation, Gay & Lesbian Fund for Colorado, Norflet Progress Fund, Oak Foundation, Open Society Foundations, Prudential Foundation, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Triangle Community Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation.[10]

The Sandler Foundation, founded by Herb and Marion Sandler, has been a consistent supporter of CRL.[11] Following reporting by the New York Times in 2008 on the relationship between the Sandlers and CRL[12], which portrayed Herb Sandler as inspiring CRL’s leadership to make a CRL a nationally active organization, CRL made a public statement to clarify certain details. A CRL spokesperson told the Credit Union Times Magazine that “Certainly he [Sandler] stepped forward to provide the funds that founded the center, but the vision and work of the center already existed.… So while he gave the seed money to start the organization, that money went to fund an effort already underway.”[13]

After the financial crash of 2008, the New York Times published an article about Herb and Marion Sandler and the mortgage lender they founded, World Savings Bank, which later merged with Wachovia.[14]  The Sandlers disputed aspects of the New York Times article, and in 2009, sent a letter to the Times that quoted in part an email from CRL’s Martin Eakes which defended the Sandlers.[15]

Associations with ACORN

CRL’s website contains several research reports and news releases that connect it with the defunct Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN). A 2004 CRL report entitled “Wells Fargo’s Subprime Lending” condemned various practices at the bank and identified ACORN as a source of information about Wells Fargo’s alleged abusive practices.[16]

In December 2003,[17] March 2006,[18] and May 2007[19], quotations from ACORN president Maude Hurd appeared alongside comments from CRL representatives and other activists in various joint statements and messages that concerned aspects of mortgage finance.

Like CRL, ACORN also received funding from the Sandler Foundation.[20]

 

References

  1. “Our Structure.” Center for Community Self-Help. 2017. Accessed June 29, 2017. https://www.self-help.org/who-we-are/about-us/our-structure. ^
  2. “Our Structure.” Center for Community Self-Help. 2017. Accessed June 29, 2017. https://www.self-help.org/who-we-are/about-us/our-structure. ^
  3. “CRL – Center for Responsible Lending.” Center for Responsible Lending. 2017. Accessed June 29, 2017. http://www.responsiblelending.org/. ^
  4. “Center for Responsible Lending.” Self-Help Credit Union. 2017. Accessed June 29, 2017. https://www.self-help.org/who-we-are/self-help-family/center-for-responsible-lending. ^
  5. “Research & Policy.” Center for Responsible Lending. 2017. Accessed June 29, 2017. http://www.responsiblelending.org/research-policy. ^
  6. Kessler, Glenn. “Fact Checker – Warren’s false claim that ‘auto dealer markups cost consumers $26 billion a year’.” Washington Post. May 5, 2015. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2015/05/05/warrens-false-claim-that-auto-dealer-markups-cost-consumers-26-billion-a-year/?utm_term=.f945f52156e3. ^
  7. “David Stoesz.” New America. 2017. Accessed June 29, 2017. https://www.newamerica.org/our-people/david-stoesz/ ^
  8. Stoesz, David. “Payday Loans and the Secondary Financial Market.” SSRN. March 27, 2012. Accessed June 29, 2017. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2029146. ^
  9. Moss, Michael, and Geraldine Fabrikant. “Once Trusted Mortgage Pioneers, Now Scrutinized.” New York Times. December 24, 2008. Accessed June 29, 2017.  http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/25/business/25sandler.html. ^
  10. “About Us.” Center for Responsible Lending. 2017. Accessed June 29, 2017. http://responsiblelending.org/about-us. ^
  11. Moss, Michael, and Geraldine Fabrikant. “Once Trusted Mortgage Pioneers, Now Scrutinized.” New York Times. December 24, 2008. Accessed June 29, 2017. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/25/business/25sandler.html. ^
  12. Moss, Michael, and Geraldine Fabrikant. “Once Trusted Mortgage Pioneers, Now Scrutinized.” New York Times. December 24, 2008. Accessed June 29, 2017. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/25/business/25sandler.html. ^
  13. Morrison, David. “Sandler Mortgage Lending Controversy Touches CRL.” Credit Union Times Magazine. January 14, 2009. Accessed June 29, 2017. http://www.cutimes.com/2009/01/14/sandler-mortgage-lending-controversy-touches-crl?slreturn=1498785647. ^
  14. Moss, Michael, and Geraldine Fabrikant. “Once Trusted Mortgage Pioneers, Now Scrutinized.” New York Times. December 24, 2008. Accessed June 29, 2017. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/25/business/25sandler.html. ^
  15. Sandler, Herb. “Letter from the Sandlers to The Times (April 22, 2009).” Golden West World. April 22, 2009. Accessed June 27, 2017. http://www.goldenwestworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2009_042209_letter-from-the-sandlers-to-the-times-_april-22-2009.pdf. ^
  16. “A Review of Wells Fargo’s Subprime Lending.” Center for Responsible Lending. April 2004. Accessed June 29, 2017. http://www.responsiblelending.org/mortgage-lending/research-analysis/ip004-Wells_Fargo-0404.pdf. ^
  17. “Groups Commend Freddie Mac Ban on Mandatory Arbitration.” Center for Responsible Lending. December 9, 2003. Accessed June 29, 2017. http://www.responsiblelending.org/media/groups-commend-freddie-mac-ban-mandatory-arbitration. ^
  18. “National Groups Thank Regulators.” Center for Responsible Lending. March 2, 2007. Accessed June 29, 2017. http://www.responsiblelending.org/media/national-groups-thank-regulators. ^
  19. “Calhoun Statement: Response to Subprime Lender Proposed Principles.” Center for Responsible Lending. May 22, 2007. Accessed June 29, 2017. http://www.responsiblelending.org/media/calhoun-statement-response-subprime-lender-proposed-principles.

    ^

  20. Vadum, Matthew. “ACORN: Who Funds the Weather Underground’s Little Brother?” Capital Research Center. November 1, 2008. Accessed June 29, 2017. https://capitalresearch.org/article/acorn-who-funds-the-weather-undergrounds-little-brother-2/. ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Gary Kalman
    Former Executive Vice President

Coalition Memberships

  1. Defend Civil Rights
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: June 1, 2002

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2016 Dec Form 990 $7,405,765 $5,947,099 $7,862,052 $398,447 N $6,856,368 $462,264 $25,089 $0
    2015 Dec Form 990 $5,791,088 $5,542,289 $6,284,314 $279,375 N $5,643,621 $108,104 $7,288 $0 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $8,835,516 $6,713,092 $6,729,650 $973,510 N $7,949,500 $827,217 $4,574 $0 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $6,765,543 $6,780,562 $3,873,264 $239,548 N $6,154,285 $522,947 $3,216 $0 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $6,584,855 $6,850,867 $3,894,283 $245,548 N $5,706,584 $767,430 $6,915 $0 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $7,906,750 $8,134,425 $4,205,309 $290,562 N $7,813,781 $73,500 $11,471 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Center for Responsible Lending (CRL)

    302 W MAIN ST
    DURHAM, NC 27701-3216