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Woodstock Developments

A monthly update on new research, analysis, and advocacy from Woodstock Institute

October 19, 2010


New legislation would strengthen all financial institutions’ investments in communities, help avert another financial crisis

Woodstock Institute President Dory Rand applauded the introduction of the American Community Investment Reform Act of 2010 by Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL).

“The Community Reinvestment Act has created jobs, supported responsible homeownership, and expanded opportunities for saving by investing trillions of dollars in low- and moderate-income communities,” said Rand. “Nonetheless, the rapidly changing and complex financial landscape of today bears little resemblance to the world of 1977, when the original CRA was passed. The American Community Investment Reform Act of 2010 will make sure this crucial tool continues to be effective at creating opportunity by updating it to reflect today’s realities.”


Related: Why we must expand CRA: When banks listen to the public, both sides win
Related: A New Season for Community Investment

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Robo-signers expose weaknesses in servicers’ foreclosure processes

In recent weeks, the foreclosure processing practices of some of the nation’s largest mortgage servicers have come under scrutiny. If the allegations of widespread fraud are true, this episode serves as yet another reminder that we can’t simply rely on the prudence of servicers to adequately address the foreclosure crisis.


Related: Round-up: The Robo-Signing Crisis

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Chicago region HAMP modifications continue to drop, but may be more sustainable in the long run: August

New data show that the number of active trial and permanent Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) modifications in the Chicago region continues to drop, surpassing last month’s record low (see our previous analyses). There were 33,346 active modifications in the Chicago region in August 2010, down from last month’s 34,576 and November 2009’s 36,208, the first month Treasury released data by metro area.


Related: Mortgage analysts say 1 in 5 homeowners could lose their home, make case for new approach to policy

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Advocates argue that policy should encourage low-wealth people to achieve self-sufficiency

Advocates for asset building believe that expanding access to the fundamental building blocks of financial stability—like savings accounts, investments, a home, or higher education—can help individuals make better financial decisions and weather unforeseen crises. The research backs that up: assets encourage individuals regardless of income to save more, expand their aspirations, and encourage their loved ones to do the same.


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Looking for information on the foreclosure crisis in the Chicago metro area?

Visit the Regional Home Ownership Preservation Initiative's website at The RHOPI site is a one-stop shop for foreclosure information in the Chicago region, such as success stories of local efforts to forge solutions to the foreclosure problem, events, resources for homeowners and renters in trouble because of foreclosure, regional and national research, and data and indicators.

New at RHOPI: Against Long Odds, An Abandoned House Becomes a Home for Elgin Family

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In this issue

  Recent Work

File IconBridging the Gap: Credit Scores and Economic Opportunity in Illinois Communities of Color
September 2010

File IconPaying More for the American Dream IV: The Decline of Prime Mortgage Lending in Communities of Color
May 2010 

File IconGovernment Interventions Have a Limited Impact on Chicago Area Foreclosure Activity in 2009
February 2010   

  [+] View All Publications

 Upcoming Events

Movie screening and panel discussion: “Plunder: The Crime of Our Time” with director Danny Schechter
December 2
Columbia College Chicago


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