Woodstock Institute staff work with the press to provide research and policy expertise on issues ranging from foreclosures to predatory lending to banking reform and more. To reach a Woodstock expert, contact Drew Dickerson at 312-368-0310.
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.
Washington, DC – A coalition of consumer groups are calling on Acting Illinois Insurance Director Anne Melissa Dowling to reverse her “do-nothing” position and start protecting Illinois consumers from the unfair use of certain information unrelated to insurance risk – such as personal consumer shopping data – to set auto and homeowners insurance prices. The groups say that the use of price optimization by Illinois insurers violates Illinois statutes requiring cost-based insurance pricing and prohibiting unfair discrimination.
Chicago – Woodstock Institute is pleased to announce Brent Adams has joined the organization as Vice President of Policy. Brent is an experienced financial and social justice advocate with background in the nonprofit, public, and private sectors. He will collaborate with the Senior Vice President for Research Spencer Cowan in setting the organization’s research agenda and develop policy solutions. Additionally, he will drive state and national coalition work, build relationships with colleague organizations, and assist with fundraising.
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.
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.
CHICAGO—Woodstock Institute is participating at the 2015 CGI America meeting in Denver, Colorado today to report on its successful CGI America Commitment to Action to advance retirement security with automatic retirement savings accounts in Illinois. Since Woodstock announced its commitment in 2013, Illinois has enacted the Secure Choice savings program to expand access to employment-based retirement savings to an estimated 2.5 million people.
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.
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.
CHICAGO—Both foreclosure filings and foreclosure auctions declined substantially in the Chicago six county region between 2013 and 2014, new data from Woodstock Institute show. Foreclosure filings, which indicate the beginning of the foreclosure process, fell by 33.7 percent in the Chicago six county region between 2013 and 2014. Foreclosure auctions, which indicate the completion of the foreclosure process and transfer to new owners, declined by 22.4 percent in the Chicago six county region over the same time period.