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.
Legislation will help millions of Illinois Workers Save for Retirement
Chicago, IL — On a vote of 30-25-02 in the Senate and 67-45 in the House, the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program (SB2758) was approved by the Illinois General Assembly today. The bill will give millions of private sector workers in Illinois the opportunity to save their own money for retirement by expanding access to employment-based retirement savings accounts.
CHICAGO—Woodstock Institute released two new data tools today that give users important insight into the economic well-being of neighborhoods in Chicago and Illinois. The interactive map covers the entire state and empowers users to understand geographic patterns of foreclosures, mortgage lending, employment, income, vacancy, and more. The data compendium allows the public to explore and conduct their own analyses on over 100 datasets that cover a wide range of topics, from arts to economic development to health services.
See the interactive map
See the data compendium
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.
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.
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The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) has been instrumental in promoting investment and financial services in low- and moderate-income communities, but it hasn’t kept pace with changes in the financial industry. Instead of branch-based banking, many transactions take place through ATMs, computers, kiosks, or mobile phones. CRA must be updated so that banks have community responsibilities wherever they do significant business, not just where they have branches (the current basis for CRA assessment areas). And we need ways to hold banks accountable for providing important services--such as affordable checking and savings accounts--to low- and moderate-income communities.
The Department of Education released final rules today that limit the eligibility of for-profit colleges for federal loans and aid if they fail to adequately prepare students for gainful employment.
Today, the Department of Defense released a proposed rule updating the Military Lending Act, which protects military servicemembers from predatory lending practices. The proposed rule closes several key loopholes that previously allowed lenders to trap servicemembers in a high-cost cycle of debt.
Completed foreclosure auctions decline gradually
Lack of access to credit could limit economic opportunity in disinvested communities
CHICAGO—There are significant disparities with respect to both race and neighborhood income in access to credit for businesses in the Chicago six county region, a new report from Woodstock Institute found. From 2008 to 2012, the business loan gap (that is, the difference between the total amount of loans made and proportional distribution of loans) in majority minority communities was estimated to be nearly $1.5 billion, and the gap in low-income communities exceeded an estimated $817 million.
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.