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.

August 11, 2014

By Herb Weisbaum

Checking accounts—and the debit cards that come with them—should be a simple and straightforward way to handle routine financial transactions. And yet, many people simply don't understand the overdraft policies at their bank or credit union.

August 6, 2014

Chicago – Today, Governor Pat Quinn signed HB 5622, legislation instituting strong consumer protections for Illinois workers who receive their wages on payroll cards. Sponsored by Sen. Kwame Raoul and Rep. Art Turner, and championed by Attorney General Lisa Madigan, the bill passed with bi-partisan support during the spring legislative session and, with the Governor’s signature, will now become law. Woodstock Institute and its partners in the Illinois Asset Building Group advocated for the expansion of consumer protections for payroll cards.

July 9, 2014
Almost six years after the financial crisis, JPMorgan, Citigroup, and Bank of America face potential fines of around $12 billion each for their role in mortgage malfeasance. In the context of the damage done and the bailout money poured into banks; the fines are miniscule and won't even cover reparations in one or two blighted areas.
July 9, 2014
Almost six years after the financial crisis, JPMorgan, Citigroup, and Bank of America face fines of around $12 billion each for their role in mortgage malfeasance. In the context of the damage done and the bailout money poured into banks; the fines are miniscule and won’t even cover reparations in one or two blighted areas.
July 9, 2014

The government wants to make it easier for parents with flawed credit to take out loans to pay for their children’s college education. Currently the U.S. Department of Education rejects Parent PLUS loan applicants with debt payment delinquencies of 90 days or more within the past five years. A proposal would cut the period under scrutiny to two years and allow for almost $2,100 in bad debt, according to a department document released in May. In either case, applicants can be rejected for other problems, including a default, bankruptcy, or foreclosure during the past five years.

Springfield
June 9, 2014

The spring Illinois legislative session just came to an end. Here are highlights of what happened in Springfield on issues affecting wealth-building opportunities for Illinoisans:

June 5, 2014

Last year, thousands of consumers filed complaints with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) regarding financial products. In Illinois, complaints from consumers focused on mortgage services, banking services, credit cards, and other critical services.

Tags: cfpb
May 28, 2014

Westwood College, a for-profit university, attracts students with a promise of a law enforcement career upon graduation.

May 28, 2014

You may have heard about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), but what can it do for you and your constituents?

May 28, 2014
This letter urges the Department of Education to strengthen the debt-to-earnings test that assesses whether for-profit colleges are adequately preparing graduates for gainful employment. It recommends that the Department revise the debt-to-earnings metrics so that they accurately depict graduates...
May 27, 2014
Parents whose financial standing disqualify them from most loans may have an easier time borrowing to pay their children’s college costs under a U.S. government proposal to ease credit standards.
May 27, 2014
Parents whose financial standing disqualify them from most loans may have an easier time borrowing to pay their children’s college costs under a U.S. government proposal to ease credit standards.
May 14, 2014
Six years after the financial collapse of 2008, the fight to rebuild our communities has not ended.
April 24, 2014

After decades of work by advocates across the country, national policymakers are — at long last — poised to take action on payday loans.

Data portal graph
April 14, 2014

Nearly a year ago, Woodstock launched our online data portal in order to deliver meaningful data on the Chicago six county region for our community partners in a user-friendly way.

April 2, 2014
One in five older Americans is a victim of financial abuse and fraud. People who have saved for decades can be left with nothing as a result of a financial scam.
March 26, 2014

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is in the “late stages” of making a rule to regulate payday lenders. It is critical to let them know that the rule should not include loopholes that lenders can exploit to make expensive, unregulated loans.

CFPB press conference
March 10, 2014

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) made allegations last week that one of the nation’s largest for-profit colleges, ITT Educational Services, is pushing students into high-cost student loans that are built to fail. This is the CFPB’s first enforcement action against a for-profit college.

February 25, 2014
Bad news for consumers: a bill that aims to weaken the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is likely to come up for a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives this week.
Tags: cfpb
Dory Rand at NCRC2013
February 13, 2014

Every year Woodstock Institute staff and dozens of allies from Illinois go to Washington, DC, in the spring to galvanize the community reinvestment movement, learn about the latest developments, and visit our elected officials and regulators. 2014 is no different.

Tags: ncrc
January 31, 2014
More good news keeps coming for consumers in early 2014. On the heels of new mortgage rules that took effect January 10, the following week four banks making payday loans pulled their products from the market. Announcing a halt to their triple-digit interest rates were Wells Fargo, Regions, Fifth...
January 29, 2014
More good news keeps coming for consumers in early 2014. On the heels of new mortgage rules that took effect January 10, the following week four banks making payday loans pulled their products from the market. Announcing a halt to their triple-digit interest rates were Wells Fargo, Regions, Fifth...
January 17, 2014
Regions, Fifth Third, US Bank, Wells Fargo to stop offering deposit advance products
December 6, 2013

In an attempt to tackle the private student loan crisis, Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) introduced the Student Loan Borrowers' Bill of Rights at a press conference in Chicago on December 3, that would provide basic protections for students flirting with default on their loans. The bill is co-sponsored by Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.).

December 5, 2013

A recent report from the UK-based Community Finance Solutions at the University of Salford and Woodstock Institute calls for the United Kingdom (UK) to adopt a banking disclosure act similar to laws in the United States (US).

December 2, 2013

I recently read an eye-opening book entitled “Scarcity: Why Having So Little Matters So Much,” by Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir. It’s about how scarcity of time, money, food, and sleep affects our brains, creating a tunnel vision.

November 12, 2013

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced last week that it will begin collecting consumer complaints on payday loans.

October 24, 2013
Bad experiences with mortgages and credit cards topped the list of grievances that Illinois residents have filed with the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's online complaint portal, a new study shows.The bureau was born out of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform & Consumer...
October 23, 2013
Illinois consumers issue more complaints about bank accounts and student loans than consumers nationwide, says Woodstock Institute

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