The Chicago region housing market is likely to remain weak, and serious concerns about the performance of Alt-A and prime mortgages will take center stage in 2009.
The zoning restriction placed on payday lenders by the Springfield City Council is a much needed step in the decade long struggle to rein in the worst abuses of the payday loan industry.
The U.S. Treasury Department is now requiring banks that received the most funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (Tarp) to report on use of those funds, and not a moment too soon.
President Obama said in his inaugural speech today that “a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended … on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart….” As we “begin again the work of remaking America,” we need to remember and apply some key messages from the speech to address the economic crisis.
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.
The Federal Reserve is set to take unprecedented measures to protect consumers from the credit card industry’s worst practices, such as interest rate hikes on existing balances. The final rule, expected to pass today, is the culmination of over two years of debate on how to best protect consumers from the arbitrary interest rate hikes and high fees that have come to characterize the $970 billion industry.
The Office of Thrift
Supervision, in response to numerous comments from Chicago region community organizations, has agreed
to hold a public hearing regarding a charter change for Republic Bancorp–a provider of high-cost refund anticipation loans.
Maps of neighborhood foreclosures and lender-owned, largely vacant properties, based on Woodstock Institute foreclosure data, are now available through EveryBlock, an online resource for block-by-block neighborhood news.
A new analysis finds that these properties are highly concentrated in African American and Latino communities.
To help combat the growing lending crisis and the rise of
foreclosures in Chicago, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is
investing $68 million in grants and low-interest loans in foreclosure
prevention and mitigation efforts in local neighborhoods.
In recent months numerous critics have unfairly blamed the current financial crisis on efforts to increase lower-income homeownership.
Chicago Tonight’s Carol Marin and Elizabeth Brackett sit down with Geoff Smith, Woodstock Institute’s vice president, to discuss why rising foreclosures and the national financial crisis are changing the face of Chicago region communities.
While the current Treasury plan may “unclog” the capital
markets and allow for increased access to lending for large firms, it fails to
address one the fundamental problems in today’s economy: troubled homeowners.
Foreclosure is a local problem. To help solve it,
Woodstock Institute provides the facts on the ground, the analysis to identify
the problem, and the technical assistance to help measure local successes. Its
newest resource, a quarterly update on foreclosure patterns in the Chicago region, provides
timely foreclosure data directly to the people who need it - community
reinvestment stakeholders working to prevent foreclosures before they happen
and reduce the community impact when they do.
As a major tax refund lender seeks to change charters, the Office of Thrift Supervision needs to hold a hearing to give the public a chance to tell its side of the story about high cost refund anticipation lending.