Recent posts by Tom Feltner
Last week, the Monsignor John Egan Campaign for Payday Loan Reform and Woodstock Institute called for much-needed consumer protections for the currently unregulated payday installment loan industry at a press conference in downtown Chicago. These new consumer protections, included in a recent proposal by Senator Kimberly Lightford (D-Maywood), would ensure reasonable fees in an industry that has operated for years outside the consumer protections established in the 2005 Payday Loan Reform Act.
The Federal Reserve Board has named Dory Rand, president of Woodstock Institute, to its Consumer Advisory Council for a three-year term starting in December 2010. The Council advises the Board on the exercise of its responsibilities under the Consumer Credit Protection Act and on other matters in the area of consumer financial services. The Council meets three times a year in Washington, D.C.
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.
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.
As efforts to curb overdraft abuse gain traction in the Senate, Bank of America, Chase, and Wells Fargo last week announced a kinder, gentler bounced check loan – but are these changes enough to fend off sweeping reforms? And will banks and regulators finally provide consumers with the full disclosure they need to make an informed decision?
In our fragmented regulatory system, agencies charged with overseeing banks lowered consumer protection standards in the interest of self-preservation, even as whole segments of the financial industry went unsupervised.
The Consumer Financial Protection Agency (H.R. 3126), the new financial watchdog proposed by the Obama administration and currently being debated in Congress, would have the authority to protect small businesses from risky, unregulated financial products.
The banking industry, led in part by the American Bankers Association (ABA), has been launching an assault on the proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA). In testimony before Congress and letters to bank CEOs, the trade group has been spreading myths about the CFPA, which would promote fairness, transparency, and real disclosure for financial products.
Woodstock takes on these myths one by one.
Renegotiating unaffordable loans has been central to foreclosure prevention efforts under two administrations, but mortgage servicers lack incentives to aggressively pursue significant and sustainable loan modifications.
As banks and other lenders across the country tighten credit requirements and close down lending facilities, community development financial institutions (CDFIs) continue to make quality investments in underserved neighborhoods.
Credit unions can offer sustainable, affordable short term credit at a fraction of the cost of traditional payday lenders, says a recent report by Marva Williams, until recently Woodstock Institute senior vice president.