Woodstock Institute President Dory Rand brings a wealth of community reinvestment knowledge and a proven ability to shape financial services policy to the challenge of promoting economic security and community prosperity for lower-wealth people.
“I’m interested in using lessons learned from behavioral economics to create public policies and financial products that foster a sound financial system and help everyone safely borrow, save and invest for long-term financial security,” says Dory. “I find my job fulfilling because Woodstock Institute’s work helps to close the wealth gap by increasing opportunities for lower-wealth households and communities of color to thrive and prosper.”
Dory joined Woodstock Institute after 12 years at the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law in Chicago; most recently, she served as the supervising attorney of the Center’s Community Investment Unit.
Dory has long advocated for lower-wealth people on welfare law and public financial issues at the local, state, and national levels. She has published extensively, presented at many national conferences, and appeared in national and local media, including American Banker and the Chicago Tribune.
Meanwhile, she emphasizes the importance of collaborating with others on key issues. “I feel fortunate to work with the talented Woodstock team and colleagues around the country in creating innovative solutions to some of the most significant financial issues of our lifetime,” she says.
Dory received a B.A. and J.D. from The Ohio State University.
Recent posts by Dory Rand
The scramble to secure tax refund loan partnerships before the opening day of the 2010 tax season is the direct result of a regulatory crackdown that many consumer advocates believe was long overdue. With one major lender undercapitalized and another under increased scrutiny, it is clear regulators are beginning to take notice of the issue. However, both of these actions were taken to protect the safety and soundness of the banks themselves, not to protect the Illinois consumers who paid $114 million dollars in 2006 just to receive their tax refund loan a few days earlier than if they had waited for the IRS refund.
With Senator Dodd’s announcement on January 6 that he will retire after this year and the likelihood that his successor as Senate Banking Committee chair will be less pro-consumer, there is an even greater urgency to complete work on financial reform proposals pending in Congress. We cannot afford to lose momentum towards creating a more just financial system that protects consumers, communities, and the financial system from another near collapse, bailout, and recession.
Woodstock Institute is pleased to announce the release of its 2008-2009 Annual Report. This year has seen a deepening of the global economic crisis that, amid the devastation, has created significant opportunities to advance policies that improve economic security and community prosperity, especially for lower-wealth households and communities of color that have been hardest hit by the crisis.
The U.S. House of Representatives made a historic vote in favor of consumers by passing H.R. 4173, the “Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009,” on December 11. This bill would create an agency with authority to set strong protections for financial products, such as mortgages, payday loans, and credit cards.
The regulatory reform proposal released today by Chairman Dodd (D-CT) goes a long way to ensuring that consumers and communities across the country have access to safe, affordable, and sustainable financial products. We believe that the proposal brings us closer to ending the assumption that some financial institutions are too big to fail, protecting the financial system against systemic risk, creating a single federal banking regulator, and enforcing the consumer protections that have gone unenforced for far too long.
Over major opposition from the financial industry and nearly all Republican committee members, the House Financial Services Committee today passed HR 3126, which would create the new federal Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) to protect consumers from abusive and deceptive financial products and practices. Advocates are hopeful that the bill will be strengthened in the Senate where Woodstock and others are pushing for agency oversight of the Community Reinvestment Act, which has been severely weakened under the current regulatory structure.
The Chicago Tribune recently reported on American Union Savings & Loan Association’s objection to receiving a poor rating under Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) from the FDIC, its regulator. American Union’s claim—that “reckless lenders attract [mortgage] applications and get favorable CRA ratings [and] these applications turned into bad loans”—is one that has been widely discredited by banking regulators and researchers.
As the debate on financial services reform continues in Washington, a new report finds that key decision makers in Congress have received sizable donations from the very industry they are seeking to reform.
If we hadn’t been waiting for a decade to see regulators and banks take consumer protection seriously, then their recent moves might be welcomed more enthusiastically. Instead, we view the recent efforts by regulators and banks to embrace consumer protection as cynical attempts to undercut the growing movement for consumer protection and financial reform.
If most people made rational decisions to maximize their self-interest, as predicted by traditional economists, then everyone would have an emergency fund, accumulate adequate retirement savings, avoid payday loans, and be financially secure. The reality, as demonstrated by the growing research in behavioral economics, is that we often make emotional, short-sighted, and self-defeating financial decisions.
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and 23 other attorneys general sent a joint letter in support of H.R. 3126, which would create a new federal Consumer Financial Protection Agency, to Congressional leaders on the House and Senate banking committees on August 18.
American Casino, an expose of the mortgage foreclosure crisis, features revealing interviews with Wall Street power brokers and other major players, detailing how a vast fortune was built largely on the trust of lower-wealth and minority first-time home buyers whose lives and neighborhoods are now devastated.
I am troubled by the recent comment from JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon that creation of the proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency would “hurt short-term profits,” but I am not surprised. It is likely that the loss of short-term profits that Mr. Dimon projects are due to changes required by recent credit card reforms, which were signed into law with bipartisan support in May 2009.
Under new regulations implementing certain provisions of the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 that take effect August 20, credit card lenders must mail or deliver periodic statements at least 21 days before the payment is due and must give 45-days notice of increases in the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) or other significant changes in terms, including a notice of the right to cancel the account.
The Consumer Financial Protection Agency, the new
consumer watchdog agency proposed by the Obama administration, must be endowed
with broad authority protect consumers and communities from the financial
industry's worst practices.
Encouraging simple, low-cost financial products through the Obama administration’s proposed financial watchdog agency would increase consumer choice and product innovation, not restrict it.
Woodstock Institute supports the Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA), the new consumer watchdog agency proposed by the Obama administration. But this new agency must be endowed with broad authority protect consumers and communities from the financial industry’s worst practices. Regrettably, this crucial power was omitted in H.R.3126 now being considered by the House. The authority to implement and modernize CRA should fall to the CFPA and we call on Chairman Frank and members of the House Committee on Financial Services to reinstate this important provision.
The U.S. Senate passed credit card reform legislation on May 19 that would limit some of the most abusive practices by lenders and require lenders to ensure that college students have the ability to repay credit card debts.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’ recent report entitled “The CRA and Subprime Lending: Discerning the Difference” concludes that the Community Reinvestment Act “is unequivocally not to blame for the housing market’s fall. The numbers just don’t add up.” Moreover, data from the Board’s staff report suggest that the CRA prevented the subprime situation from being more severe.
Critics of the CRA (Community
Reinvestment Act) have claimed the act played a key role in the subprime
meltdown, but numbers don’t support that claim, according to research recently
released by a multi-state collaboration of regional research, policy, and