Consumer Lending Reform

Woodstock Institute identifies the negative effects of high-cost consumer credit and works to end the worst practices among payday lenders, installment lenders, and other consumer lenders.

July 21, 2016
This is a sample comment letter to the CFPB in support of the proposed rule prohibiting the waiver of class actions in contracts for financial products and services, and requiring the reporting of information regarding the use of arbitration in the consumer financial context. We encourage you to...
May 24, 2016
Presented by CFPB staff members Nora Rigby and Darian Dorsey.
May 5, 2016
Testimony of Brent Adams before the Senate Insurance Committee. In this testimony Adams discussed banning the use of credit scoring in establishing auto insurance rates.
April 25, 2016

by Bruce Rushton

A bill to regulate online lenders that target small businesses with loans that can carry more than 100-percent annual interest rates is moving, albeit slowly, through the Illinois General Assembly.

Woodstock Institute Theory of Change graphic
April 20, 2016

In this first part of our Theory of Change series of blog posts and images, Woodstock President Dory Rand explains the ways in which Woodstock Institute is working to achieve our mission of creating a just financial system in which lower-wealth people and communities, and people and communities of color, can achieve economic security and community prosperity. In this series, our research and policy staff will discuss the strategies we use to effect positive, lasting financial systems change. 

This is an image of the Illinois State Capitol.
April 7, 2016

This week was the most active week in Springfield so far this year.  Friday, April 8 is the deadline for bills to pass out of committee.  For Woodstock and our legislative priorities, the week was mostly successful.

This is an image with Dory Rand, of Woodstock Institute, with CFPB Director, Richard Cordray, and other allies.
April 7, 2016

Leading up to and since the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) conference in March, Woodstock Institute has been part of the surge in work on, and interest in, small business lending and Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) issues at local and national levels.

Illinois State Capitol Building
March 1, 2016

Illinois’s legislative session is in full swing, and Woodstock is monitoring many bills that fall within the scope of our mission: to create a just financial system in which lower-wealth persons and communities as well as people and communities of color can achieve economic security and prosperity.  Here are some of the bills that we are supporting this session.

 
Drew Dickerson staff photo.
February 11, 2016

Hi, everyone. I’m very excited to be working as Woodstock Institute’s new Communications and Development Associate. Woodstock has a lot of exciting projects for the coming year, and I look forward to a unique and interesting experience adapting Woodstock’s communications and development strategies to frame and highlight developments on the policy and research side. 

January 4, 2016

By Peter Rudegeair, Emily Glazer, and Ruth Simon

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. spent about $8 billion this year on technology. But when it came to developing a new online loan for small business, the bank turned to an unlikely outsider.

December 10, 2015

2015 was a big year for Woodstock Institute and allies working to expand opportunities for workers to save for retirement and to receive unbiased investment advice. Please take action on two retirement issues described below. 

November 30, 2015

Dory Rand was a featured guest on WVON's Real Talk Real People with Art Chat Daddy Sims urging home owners to submit complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s consumer complaint database who have been affected by unfair or predatory financial products and services.

November 3, 2015

On November 3, Jody Blaylock from IABG and Spencer Cowan from Woodstock Institute hosted a webinar on the findings of our new report, No Right Turn: Illinois' Auto Title Loan Industry and Its Impact on Consumer.

October 27, 2015

CHICAGO – A new report by Woodstock Institute and the Illinois Asset Building Group (IABG) finds that increasing numbers of Illinois consumers are ending up in a long-term cycle of debt due to triple-digit interest rates and long loan terms as they turn to title loans to try to make ends meet.

August 11, 2015

The U.S. House Financial Services Committee (HFSC) passed HR 1731, “Reforming CFPB Indirect Auto Financing Guidance Act,” last week. This bill sets limits to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) jurisdiction over auto financing products. Both Illinois congressmen on the HFSC, Representative Randy Hultgren (R-IL) and Representative Bill Foster (D-IL), voted in favor of the bill. Now the bill goes to the full House of Representatives. Woodstock Institute is disappointed that our elected officials on the HFSC voted in favor of HR 1731.We strongly urge Congress to vote against this bill to keep consumers safe from exploitive car finance products. 

July 31, 2015

By Elizabeth Peace

A group of advocacy organizations have called on the NCUA to look into potentially predatory loans being offered by for-profit colleges to college students through credit unions.

July 21, 2015

It was very fitting that the Obama Administration and Department of Defense (DoD) released the final Military Lending Act (MLA) rules on the fifth anniversary of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank) and the fourth anniversary of the launch of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on July 21, 2015. The final MLA rules are a great example of how to conduct evidence-based policymaking to protect consumers from unfair and abusive financial products and practices.

July 21, 2015

CHICAGO-We are celebrating two important birthdays today: the fourth birthday of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the fifth birthday of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The CFPB has defended consumers against predatory businesses and financial products for four years, while the Dodd-Frank Act has empowered the federal government to make major progress towards cleaning up Wall Street. The CFPB has conducted research, created rules, and taken enforcement action in a variety of areas including prepaid cards, student loan debt and servicing, mortgage lending, and credit cards. Now, the CFPB is working to introduce new rules that will create federal payday loan regulations for the first time.

July 15, 2015
Testimony of Katie Buitrago before the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Field Hearing on Student Loans. In this testimony Buitrago discussed the impact for-profit colleges have on students’ economic opportunities, with these students graduating with more debt and fewer job opportunities. 
July 15, 2015

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently asked the public what it can do to improve student loan servicing through a request for information (RFI). Response to the RFI, which closed on Monday, was overwhelming: over 30,000 people and organizations submitted comments. We submitted our own comment letter as well as joined with over 100 organizations from across the country urging the CFPB to improve student loan servicing. Many student loan borrowers told stories about their difficulties repaying their loans, like these borrowers who we profiled in our comment letter about Sallie Mae earlier this month: 

July 14, 2015
This comment letter responds to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) request for information on student loan servicing, in particular its questions on data. The letter draws upon lessons from the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act and the National Mortgage Database in order to make...
July 7, 2015

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is collecting consumer comments about student loan servicing until July 13. This process lets the CFPB know about potential consumer protection risks and could be the first step towards regulating the massive student loan servicing industry, so we urge you to tell the CFPB about your experiences repaying your student loans and whether you have encountered trouble seeking an affordable repayment plan, getting your payments applied correctly, communicating with your servicer, or other issues.

 

July 1, 2015

By Allie Grasgreen

On Wednesday, the Obama administration will begin choking off the financial lifeline of for-profit colleges whose graduates can’t find well-paying jobs — and the move is likely to accelerate a wave of shutdowns for an industry taking assaults from all sides.

June 29, 2015

By Justin da Rosa

According to a report released by the Woodstock Institute Wednesday, women in Chicago are 14.5 percent less likely to qualify for a mortgage than men.

June 29, 2015

By Phil Hall

A new study covering home loan applications in the Chicago metro region points to a disparity between the number of men and women that receive a mortgage. However, the study’s sponsor is not rushing to declare a lethal case of Windy City gender discrimination.

June 23, 2015

Gender-based discrimination is alive and well, and may make it harder for some Chicago women to buy a home.

June 17, 2015

By Gregory Karp

Women in the Chicago area are generally less likely to receive mortgages than men, a phenomenon that could hinder women's ability to build wealth and establish financial security, according to a report to be released Wednesday by the Woodstock Institute.

June 17, 2015

Women are at a distinct disadvantage compared to men in accessing mortgages and refinancing their homes, new Woodstock Institute research report has found. The report found significant gender disparities across all purchase and refinance mortgages at several major banks.

June 15, 2015

This study examines women’s access to mortgages in the Chicago six county region to determine whether female mortgage applicants may be disadvantaged in securing financing to either purchase a home or refinance one already owned. This research examines additional factors, beyond the race or ethnicity of the applicant, which may be contributing to the disparities in origination rates. Using HMDA data for the period 2011 to 2013, the research explores three factors that may be correlated with disparities in origination rates for female applicants: 1) the income level of the borrower; 2) the type of loan applied for; and 3) the geographic location of the property within the Chicago region. In addition, we analyzed data from all lenders that reported receiving at least one percent of all applications for the study period to see if there were differences in origination rates among the institutions.

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