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Written by Katie Buitrago on September 18, 2009

The Department of the Treasury recently released its second report card on how mortgage lenders are doing modifying loans for eligible homeowners under the government’s Making Home Affordable program (see the first report card).

Written by Katie Buitrago on September 11, 2009

A common banking industry argument against the Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) is that the agency would restrict consumer choice. According to a new poll from the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), Americans have already made a choice: they want more financial protections—and a new federal agency to enforce them.

Written by Dory Rand on September 2, 2009

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.

Written by Katie Buitrago on August 27, 2009

Think back to the last contract you signed. Did you read it all the way through? Even if you did, did you fully understand all of it? If not, you’re not alone. Recent research shows that consumers often rely on conversations with salespeople more than the content of a contract, a process which we believe has encouraged the development of deceptive-by-design financial products accompanied by incomprehensible fine print.

Written by Tom Feltner and Katie Buitrago on August 25, 2009

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. 

Written by Dory Rand on August 21, 2009

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.

Written by Dory Rand on August 18, 2009

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.

Written by Dory Rand on August 17, 2009

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.

Written by Katie Buitrago on August 13, 2009

New laws giving homeowners more time and resources to get help on their mortgage payments may be slowing the rate of foreclosure filings in the Chicago area, according to the latest Woodstock Institute analysis of Chicago region foreclosure filings.

Written by Dory Rand on August 12, 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.

Written by Katie Buitrago on August 11, 2009

The Department of the Treasury recently released its first report card on how mortgage lenders are doing modifying loans for eligible homeowners under the government’s Making Home Affordable program. Thirteen lenders, as well as 2,300 participants with Fannie Mae- and Freddie Mac-insured loans, started modifications for less than the national average of 9% of eligible loans, while only seven lenders modified more than 9% of their eligible loans.

Written by Tom Feltner and Katie Buitrago on August 5, 2009

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.

Written by Katie Buitrago on July 30, 2009

A key part of the Obama administration’s Financial Stability Plan is the Making Home Affordable program, which encourages banks to renegotiate mortgages for the millions of homeowners facing the threat of foreclosure by giving subsidies to lenders.

Written by Katie Buitrago on July 28, 2009

Last week, in testimony to the House Committee on Financial Services, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke argued that his agency is best equipped to protect consumers from abusive or deceptive financial products—a role assigned to the Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) proposed by the Obama administration.
GAO-09-837, TROUBLED ASSET RELIEF PROGRAM: Treasury Actions Needed to Make the Home Affordable Modification Program More Transparent and Accountable

Written by Dory Rand on July 22, 2009

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.

 

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