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.

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.

June 10, 2015

Woodstock Institute has called for the Department of Education to provide debt relief for students of Corinthian Colleges, which recently went out of business after the Department of Education took action against the chain for misrepresenting its programs and failing to comply with federal aid regulations. The Department of Education announced Monday that it would make changes to the program to enable more students who attended Corinthian Colleges to cancel their student loan debts. 

May 29, 2015

By Jody Baylock

Honoring the Passage of Secure Choice

This month, Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights was honored for their work passing the Secure Choice Savings Program. With the passage of Secure Choice, Illinois became the first state in the country to address the issue of retirement insecurity in this way. The program will expand access to retirement savings accounts for millions of Illinois workers.

May 29, 2015

By Ellyn Fortino

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has launched a public inquiry into student loan servicing practices and ways to help ease student debt stress.

May 20, 2015

By John Sandman

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — In December, the Department of Education (ED) announced plans to establish a new web-based system for receiving complaints on student loan servicers. In March, President Obama directed ED to build a web-based portal for student loan borrowers to manage payments, view all of their loans and lodge complaints against servicers as part of his Student Aid Bill of Rights.

May 12, 2015

CHICAGO—Students from two-year for profit colleges are more likely to borrow and often borrow more than similar students at two-year public colleges, new research from Woodstock Institute shows. Latino and white students at four-year for-profit colleges were more likely to borrow than Latino and white students of similar backgrounds at public and nonprofit schools.

May 11, 2015

Student debt is frequently viewed as investment in the future, since taking on this debt allows students to attend college and access more employment opportunities upon graduation. For millions of for-profit college students, however, student loans turn out to be a bad investment. For-profit college students are more likely to graduate with more debt and experience fewer job options than students at public and nonprofit schools. At the Community Investment Awards, Woodstock Institute will host a panel to discuss this important issue and what we can do to address it.

May 5, 2015

Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth (D-IL 8) went to great lengths last week to ensure that expansions to the Military Lending Act, proposed by the Department of Defense (DoD) and supported by Woodstock Institute and advocates across the country, would go into effect as planned.

May 4, 2015

By Liz Farmer

Los Angeles restaurateur Jorge Rodriguez Assereto doesn’t need much sleep. He gets about five hours per night and the rest of his time is devoted to running Los Balcones, a successful Peruvian restaurant he opened in Hollywood in 2004 and recently shepherded through an expansion. The remodel was a major investment. Assereto spent more than $130,000 over two years just renting the vacant space next to him while he tried to find financing for his expansion. He even switched banks in an attempt to get a loan. It didn’t work.

April 24, 2015

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Senator Dick Durbin are taking a stand for student loan borrowers by urging the federal government to forgive the federal student loans of Corinthian Colleges students. Student loans are often regarded as “good debt”: they help consumers build their assets by giving them access to more prestigious and higher-paying jobs. However, an unwelcoming job market has left student loan borrowers with fewer job options and thus fewer opportunities to pay back their debt. One of the populations that was the hit the hardest is for-profit college students. Woodstock Institute research shows that for-profit college students are graduating with more debt and fewer job opportunities than their peers. 

April 14, 2015

Higher education has long been one of the keys to attaining the American Dream; however, skyrocketing student debt has turned the dream into a nightmare for many in our country. With challenges ranging from deficient student loan servicing to predatory for-profit colleges, millions of borrowers need help as they struggle to pay off their loans. Rohit Chopra, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) Student Loan Ombudsman, stands out as a leader in student debt reform.

March 30, 2015
Woodstock Instituted submitted comments to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) regarding its proposed rule to regulate the prepaid card market. Despite being one of the fastest growing payment types in the country, the industry remains largely unregulated. Woodstock commends the CFPB...
March 27, 2015

By Fred O. Williams

The nation's consumer financial protection cop unveiled new restrictions for payday loans and other forms of short-term credit, in a move to stop emergency loans from turning into debt traps

March 27, 2015

CHICAGO, IL—The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released yesterday a working draft of a proposal to rein in abusive consumer lending schemes such as payday, auto title, and installment lending. The draft, presented at a field hearing in Richmond, VA, would require lenders to verify before making a loan that borrowers can pay it back in full and on time, without re-borrowing, and still cover their basic necessities such as rent, food, and utilities. The draft proposal importantly recognizes that making loans without verifying whether borrowers can afford to repay them is reckless and predatory. 

March 25, 2015

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) reintroduced the “Protecting Consumers from Unreasonable Credit Rates Act” on Tuesday to protect borrowers of high-cost, short-term loans from usurious interest rates. The exploitative practices of many payday lenders leave consumers in financial ruin. Woodstock Institute and partners from across the country have been pushing for decades for stronger regulations of high-cost, short-term loans to prevent high interest rates and practices that exploit the financially disadvantaged.

March 23, 2015

This Women’s History Month, we at Woodstock Institute are reflecting on how women are still at a disadvantage in the areas of income and wealth and what can be done to address that disparity. One of the common ways in which people build assets is by purchasing a home. Woodstock Institute’s research has shown that women are at a distinct disadvantage in obtaining mortgage credit. The Unequal Opportunity report found that applications from women were less likely than applications from men to be originated and that female-headed joint applications were less likely than male-headed joint applications to be approved. We are completing follow-up research which includes a look into whether certain neighborhoods experience more gender disparities in access to mortgage credit than others and suggestions for policy and practice solutions to expand women’s access to mortgage credit. 

Tags: women
March 13, 2015

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) led a group of 12 other Senators today in introducing a bill that will help address the student debt crisis by treating privately issued student loans in bankruptcy the same as other types of private unsecured debt.

March 11, 2015

In an important move against deceptive and abusive debt collection tactics, the U.S. Department of Education severed ties with Pioneer Credit Recovery, Navient’s debt collection arm, and four other debt collection agencies. Woodstock Institute applauds the Department of Education for ending its relationships with debt collectors that mislead students about their options.

February 27, 2015

Today, Rainbow PUSH and PUSH Excel stand with the Jackie Robinson West Little League Team (JRW). We invite parents, community leaders, pastors and concerned citizens to join us at the Rainbow PUSH Saturday Morning forum on February 14, 2015 to show our love for JRW in a championship affirmation rally at 9:30 a.m. located at 930 E. 50th Street (PUSH Headquarters).

February 27, 2015

By Alex Swoyer

Women usually pay more at a salon for a haircut than men, but it turns out deodorant, razors and cars actually have “The Woman’s Tax” — causing them to pay more than men for essentially the same product, KOMU 8 News reported.

January 20, 2015

By Mary Ellen Podmolik

Tanis Group Realty's quarterly bus tours of foreclosed homes for sale still draw a big crowd of potential buyers but the pickings just aren't what they once were and the prices tend to be higher.

Tags: foreclosures
January 13, 2015
Presented by Katie Buitrago at the 2014 Ideas in Motion Illinois Asset Building Group Conference
January 9, 2015

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently published a report detailing how loopholes in the Military Lending Act (MLA) are negatively affecting the military servicemembers it was designed to protect. When Congress passed the MLA, its purpose was to protect military servicemembers from predatory lending practices. That was back in 2007, and now the Department of Defense (DoD) has proposed revisions to the MLA that will close some of the loopholes. 

December 19, 2014

The Department of Defense (DoD) proposed modifications to regulations implementing the Military Lending Act (MLA) last September. Woodstock Institute, along with our national allies, strongly supports the proposed modifications. 

December 17, 2014
The Military Lending Act (MLA) sets a 36 percent rate cap on consumer credit for service members and authorizes the Department of Defense to define “consumer credit.” The existing definition is narrow and allows high-cost lenders to continue to target service members. This letter supports new...
November 19, 2014

By John Sandman

NEW YORK( MainStreet) - Late last month the Department of Education (ED) released its final rule that spells out what for-profit colleges must do to remain eligible for federal aid, money used by students to attend these schools, which have been criticized for their low graduation rates and low value credentials.

ED said these regulations were designed to ensure that these institutions improve their outcomes for students or risk losing access to federal student aid if they fail to make the grade.

November 19, 2014

Military deserves protection from loan sharks before, after serving their country 

CHICAGO— As our nation marks this day in honor of those who have served the country, Woodstock Institute calls on the Illinois Congressional delegation to follow the lead of the Department of Defense and put action behind the platitudes, honoring our veterans by reining in abusive payday lending.

November 17, 2014

CHICAGO: Woodstock Institute applauds the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for proposing strong rules to regulate prepaid cards, but urges the Bureau to strengthen the final rules by prohibiting all credit on prepaid cards. The CFPB presented the proposed rules this morning at a field hearing in Wilmington, Delaware.

November 11, 2014

Military Deserves Protection from Loan Sharks Before, After Serving Their Country

CHICAGO— As our nation marks this day in honor of those who have served the country, Woodstock Institute calls on the Illinois Congressional delegation to follow the lead of the Department of Defense and put action behind the platitudes, honoring our veterans by reining in abusive payday lending.

August 11, 2014

By Steve Sadin

Lake County Circuit Judge Mitch Hoffman of Highland Park has been stemming the tide of foreclosure suits one home at a time, taking his message about the court’s Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program on the road.

Tags: foreclosures