August 19, 2014

This report examines geographic patterns of access to bank capital for businesses in the Chicago six county region, with a focus on smaller loans and other types of credit, amounts under $1 million, that are more likely to benefit smaller, local businesses that create economic opportunity within neighborhoods. For small neighborhood businesses to grow, they need to be able to access capital, and one common source of capital for small businesses are loans, lines of credit, and business credit cards (collectively, “small loans”) issued by banks and other financial institutions.


August 1, 2014

This report investigated whether large banks provide accurate and full information on overdraft products and services (“overdraft”); whether the information varied based on a person’s race, ethnicity, or gender, or based on neighborhood; and whether the information was provided without undue pressure or steering to costly products.


January 24, 2014
This report examines the extent to which servicers are walking away from foreclosures in Cook County, Illinois, creating zombie properties, and how that practice may vary by the characteristics of the neighborhood in which the property is located.
June 24, 2013
This report documents the information local governments currently collect about vacant buildings and finds the data being collected vary widely among the municipalities, with significant gaps.
The Case for Banning Payday Lending
June 3, 2013

For years, community groups and advocates around the country have waged pitched battles to eliminate payday lending in their respective states. Notwithstanding extensive documentation of the payday lending debt trap and the billions of dollars payday lenders have systematically stripped from low-income families and communities, especially those of color, the payday lending industry has cannily built and exerted its political power in state capitols throughout the U.S. As a result, many states permit usurious payday lending, with often dire consequences for millions of payday loan borrowers already struggling to make ends meet.

March 11, 2013
This fact sheet examines women’s access to mortgages following the collapse of the housing bubble.
September 10, 2012
Millions of Americans are approaching retirement age without adequate retirement savings. The ongoing foreclosure and financial crisis and declines in housing values wiped out trillions in savings and home equity that people counted on using to help support themselves later in life. American workers, particularly those nearing retirement, are deeply concerned about income insecurity and fear that they will outlive their savings. Without adequate savings, American workers face the prospect of a decline in their standard of living during retirement.
July 18, 2012
This report finds evidence of a two-tiered mortgage market characterized by high rates of FHA and VA loans made both to borrowers in communities of color and to borrowers of color.
Struggling to Stay Afloat
March 22, 2012
The following analysis examines patterns of negative equity in communities of different racial and ethnic compositions in the Chicago six county region. It combines 2011 data on negative equity in Chicago region ZIP codes with U.S. Census data on the racial/ethnic composition of ZIP Code Tabulation Areas (ZCTA).
Bridging the Gap
April 29, 2011
This report examined geographical, gender-related, and chapter choice trends in data from federal bankruptcy courts in Cook County. It found that women make up a larger share of individual bankruptcy filers in all communities, and a dramatically larger share in African American communities, than men do.