Access to Mortgage Credit

Access to mortgage credit helps families build wealth and is vital to community prosperity. Woodstock Institute works to ensure that all communities can access sustainable, affordable mortgages.

September 29, 2010

New data show that the number of active trial and permanent Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) modifications in the Chicago region continues to drop, surpassing last month’s record low (see our previous analyses). There were 33,346 active modifications in the Chicago region in August 2010, down from last month’s 34,576 and November 2009’s 36,208, the first month Treasury released data by metro area.

September 27, 2010

The mortgage crisis, spurred by abusive high-cost loans, has devastated families across much of the country. Communities must contend with the considerable social and economic costs of vacant, boarded-up buildings, while families must rebuild their lives after losing their homes.

September 27, 2010

The mortgage crisis, spurred by abusive high-cost loans, has devastated families across much of the country. Communities must contend with the considerable social and economic costs of vacant, boarded-up buildings, while families must rebuild their lives after losing their homes.

September 27, 2010

The mortgage crisis, spurred by abusive high-cost loans, has devastated families across much of the country. Communities must contend with the considerable social and economic costs of vacant, boarded-up buildings, while families must rebuild their lives after losing their homes.

September 13, 2010

Even though the comment period on CRA modernization is now closed, there are other opportunities to provide input on policies that hold lenders accountable to their communities. Federal bank regulators are holding public hearings on updating the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA), which requires mortgage lenders to provide detailed public reports of their mortgage lending activities to regulators and the public (register here by September 15 for the Chicago hearing).

September 13, 2010

Even though the comment period on CRA modernization is now closed, there are other opportunities to provide input on policies that hold lenders accountable to their communities. Federal bank regulators are holding public hearings on updating the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA), which requires mortgage lenders to provide detailed public reports of their mortgage lending activities to regulators and the public (register here by September 15 for the Chicago hearing).

September 10, 2010

Pages and pages of ratios and figures don’t usually fire up a crowd, but they do affect the rash of foreclosures our country is experiencing and Americans are fired up about that.  One of the driving factors behind the foreclosure crisis was lenders putting unsuspecting borrowers into loans they could not reasonably afford.  Borrowers of color, women, the elderly, and low-income families were favorite targets for these practices. Thankfully, legislators recently passed a bill that includes the modernization of a tool critical to fighting discrimination in the housing market.

September 10, 2010

Pages and pages of ratios and figures don’t usually fire up a crowd, but they do affect the rash of foreclosures our country is experiencing and Americans are fired up about that.  One of the driving factors behind the foreclosure crisis was lenders putting unsuspecting borrowers into loans they could not reasonably afford.  Borrowers of color, women, the elderly, and low-income families were favorite targets for these practices. Thankfully, legislators recently passed a bill that includes the modernization of a tool critical to fighting discrimination in the housing market.

September 10, 2010

Pages and pages of ratios and figures don’t usually fire up a crowd, but they do affect the rash of foreclosures our country is experiencing and Americans are fired up about that.  One of the driving factors behind the foreclosure crisis was lenders putting unsuspecting borrowers into loans they could not reasonably afford.  Borrowers of color, women, the elderly, and low-income families were favorite targets for these practices. Thankfully, legislators recently passed a bill that includes the modernization of a tool critical to fighting discrimination in the housing market.

August 25, 2010

The predatory subprime lending crisis devastated families and communities across Chicago and the nation, particularly low-wealth communities and communities of color.
A crucial tool to fight discriminatory and predatory lending is the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA). HMDA requires mortgage lenders to provide detailed reports of their lending to regulators and the public. Woodstock Institute uses HMDA data to track discriminatory lending practices, study patterns of community investment, and hold individual banks accountable for their lending practices.

August 17, 2010

As bank regulators take a close look at modernizing the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) through a series of hearings and public comment period, we’re walking you through some key reasons why CRA must be updated. Last week, we explained how assessment areas don’t fully capture where a bank does business (see the discussion at Huffington Post). Today we’ll explain how CRA applies only to a fraction of the financial industry and why communities need a broader CRA to ensure that all financial institutions are offering safe and sustainable products where they do business.

August 17, 2010

As bank regulators take a close look at modernizing the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) through a series of hearings and public comment period, we’re walking you through some key reasons why CRA must be updated. Last week, we explained how assessment areas don’t fully capture where a bank does business (see the discussion at Huffington Post). Today we’ll explain how CRA applies only to a fraction of the financial industry and why communities need a broader CRA to ensure that all financial institutions are offering safe and sustainable products where they do business.

August 6, 2010

With the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act, consumers will now have a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to monitor and regulate potentially abusive financial products. It will be equally important, however, to ensure that all communities have equitable access to responsible and fairly priced products and to eliminate the bad ones. The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) has been an effective tool to encourage the provision of affordable financial services, but it must be updated to reflect the realities of today’s rapidly-changing financial landscape.

August 6, 2010

With the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act, consumers will now have a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to monitor and regulate potentially abusive financial products. It will be equally important, however, to ensure that all communities have equitable access to responsible and fairly priced products and to eliminate the bad ones. The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) has been an effective tool to encourage the provision of affordable financial services, but it must be updated to reflect the realities of today’s rapidly-changing financial landscape.

July 29, 2010

As Woodstock President Dory Rand noted, there is still much left to be done to ensure a fair and equitable financial system, even though the Dodd-Frank Act is now law. One major step is to modernize the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) so that all financial institutions are serving the entirety of communities in which they do business. The Chicago area has an opportunity to influence this process on August 12, when the Federal Reserve will be holding a hearing to consider CRA modernization. It is critical for regulators to hear from a large variety of organizations about why we must ensure that good products are available in every community – including low-wealth communities and communities of color.

July 20, 2010

A housing counseling agency that’s so swamped with demand for foreclosure prevention counseling that its executive director personally handles clients. Stalled real estate markets where buyers are waiting for prices to drop even further, and buyers who do want to buy now are struggling to obtain financing. Scam artists who take off with troubled homeowners’ last dollars while promising to save their homes. These are some of the challenges that face those who are trying to combat the effects of foreclosure in the Chicago region’s neighborhoods.

June 30, 2010

Thanks to your support, House and Senate conferees have passed a strong financial reform bill (read the summary and full text) that will protect consumers and introduce transparency to the financial system. The bill now goes to the full House and Senate for consideration. These reforms are major steps towards preventing another crisis and creating a sustainable financial system where all consumers can safely borrow and save for a brighter future.

May 13, 2010

A report released by a multi-state collaboration of regional research, policy and advocacy organizations documents the dramatic decrease in low-cost home loans made between 2006 and 2008, and highlights that communities of color were hardest hit by the drop-off in lending.

Paying More IV
May 12, 2010
This report, released by a national coalition of research, policy and advocacy organizations, examined mortgage lending patterns of banks in seven metropolitan areas and found a dramatic decrease in prime home purchase and refinance loans to communities of color. The report includes appendices for each metropolitan area and policy recommendations.
April 22, 2009
This report analyzes 2007 Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data and finds that, in low- and moderate-income communities, depositories with CRA obligations originate a far smaller share of higher-cost loans than lenders not subject to CRA.  It also finds that lenders covered by CRA are much...
March 6, 2008
A joint report by: California Reinvestment Coalition, Community Reinvestment Association of North Carolina, Empire Justice Center, Massachusetts Affordable Housing Alliance, Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project, Ohio Fair Lending Coalition, and Woodstock Institute
March 8, 2007
Jim Campen, Saara Nafici, Adam Rust, Geoff Smith, Kevin Stein, and Barbara van Kerkhove This report demonstrates that African-American and Latino borrowers are paying more than their white counterparts for home purchase loans in six geographic areas:  Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Los Angeles,...

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