June 2013 Woodstock Developments


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Woodstock Developments

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

June 28, 2013


From the President: Payday regulators must avoid creating loopholes


The recent focus on payday loans by federal regulators is causing some payday lenders to modify their products from traditional short-term loans to longer installment loans in the hope that longer-term loans may fall outside the scope of anticipated regulations.

As we outlined in our recent joint report, we’ve seen these games before in Illinois. Payday regulators must avoid creating such loopholes.


Related: Woodstock and partners call for end to payday lending

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New report identifies recommendations for vacant buildings data collection in Chicago region

decipheringblightA new Woodstock Institute report, Deciphering Blight: Vacant Buildings Data Collection in the Chicago Six County Region, documents the current efforts to collect information on vacant buildings, and makes recommendations for improving and standardizing the data. 

The recommendations 
would allow the municipalities to better understand the scope of the vacant buildings problem in their communities, inform strategies for property redevelopment and reuse, and keep track of responsible parties for the vacant properties.


Related: Tell Sen. Kirk to help homeowners and dump DeMarco

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Woodstock announces Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action 

Dory RandAt the Clinton Global Initiative's CGI America event, Woodstock Institute was proud to announce a formal Commitment to Action, a key feature of the Initiative. Through Commitments to Action, the initiative has impacted more than 400 million individuals worldwide since 2005.

Woodstock’s Commitment to Action is supported as part of CGI’s financial inclusion Working Group and centers on building support for automatic individual retirement accounts (Auto IRA) in Illinois to increase retirement security. 


Related: Watch Dory Rand talk about Woodstock's Commitment to Action

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Woodstock, partners secure improvements to CTA's Ventra prepaid card

ventraThe Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) recently announced positive changes to the general purpose reloadable (GPR) feature of the CTA’s new Ventra transit card after receiving pressure from consumer advocacy groups

These changes, including slashing fees in half, were the result of a focused campaign by Woodstock Institute and colleague organizations to eliminate some of the Ventra card’s most harmful features for consumers. 


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New at Regional HOPI: Foreclosure monitor finds lenders failing terms of settlement

Monitor ReportIn his latest report, independent monitor of the national foreclosure settlement Joseph Smith finds that major banks are falling short of meeting the terms they agreed to as part of the settlement. 

Smith notes that while the banks have largely met their financial obligations, they have not been successful in meeting the needs of homeowners attempting to modify their loans, particularly in notifying applicants if something is missing from their application. 


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In this issue

  Recent Work

pdf_icon_smallDeciphering Blight: Vacant Buildings Data Collection in the Chicago Six County Region
June 2013

pdf_icon_smallThe Case for Banning Payday Lending: Snapshots from Four Key States
June 2012

pdf_icon_smallUnequal Opportunity: Mortgage Disparate Morgage Origination Patterns for Women in the Chicago Area
March 2013

  [+] View All Publications

Woodstock in the News

Progress Illinois
Consumer Advocates Say Payday Lending Worsens Debt, Call for Federal Ban

"Chicago's Woodstock Institute has set a rally for tomorrow morning to push its campaign to get Mr. Kirk to vote to confirm Richard Cordray to a full term as head of the new federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. I reported a while ago that the financial watchdog group was on Mr. Kirk's case, but now they're stepping it up a notch, with a scheduled demonstration right outside the senator's office at 230 S. Dearborn St."

Read the story

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