February 2013 Woodstock Institute News


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Woodstock Developments

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

April 18, 2013


From the President: NCRC Conference bridges gap between local realities, national policies

Dory RandMajor federal policy decisions are so often made without consideration of what reality is like outside of the Beltway. One of our key goals at Woodstock is to make sure that the voices of people working on the ground in Illinois are heard by decision-makers in Washington, D.C.

Our voices were heard loud and clear this year at the National Community Reinvestment Coalition annual conference, where we had the opportunity to take our priorities to bank regulators and 15 members of the Illinois Congressional delegation. 


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Woodstock research shows disparities in mortgage lending to women

Unequal OpportunityA new Woodstock fact sheet shows female applications for mortgage loans are less likely to originate than male applications in the Chicago region. The fact sheet, Unequal Opportunity: Disparate Mortgage Lending Origination Patterns for Women in the Chicago Region, also finds that joint applications with a man's name first are more likely to originate than applications with a woman's name first. 

The fact sheet previews a full-length analysis that will be released this summer. 


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How we can make private student loans more affordable

DiplomaConcern is growing among advocates, regulators, and the media about the increasingly enormous level of student loan debt in the United States. Outstanding student debt grew to over $1 trillion dollars in 2013, with private loans making up roughly $150 billion of that amount. 

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently asked for comments on making private student loans more affordable, particularly in times of hardship. Woodstock submitted comments to the agency using lessons from similar attempts for struggling homeowners, such as the Home Affordable Modification Program.


Related: Sen. Kirk's vote on Cordray disappoints

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Sen. Durbin introduces bill to cap interest rates at 36 percent

Sen. DurbinLast week Illinois Senator Dick Durbin introduced the Protecting Consumers from Unreasonable Credit Rates Act to protect consumers of short-term loans such as payday loans and car-title loans from interest rates that can be more than 300 percent. The rate cap reflects the 36 percent figure that advocates have long demanded, and would apply to all types of loans. The bill also ensures federal law does not preempt stricter state laws, and removes barriers to small-dollar loan alternatives. 


Related: Senators introduce SAFE Lending Act to protect consumers

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New at Regional HOPI: Payments to 4.2 Million Borrowers Covered by Foreclosure Agreement to Begin April 12

OCCThe Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced that payments following a settlement with 13 mortgage servicers would begin to be mailed on April 12. The $3.6 billion in settlement funds will be distributed to 4.2 million borrowers whose home was in the foreclosure process in 2009 and 2010. Payments will range from $300 to $125,000.


Related: Illinois Attorney General's Office offers Information About the Mortgage Settlements

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In this issue

  Recent Work

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

File IconSecond Half 2012 Foreclosure Filings and Auctions
February 2013

File IconComing Up Short: The Scope of Retirement Insecurity in Illinois
September 2012

  [+] View All Publications

Woodstock in the News

WGN News
How to avoid zombie foreclosures

Senior Policy and Communications Associate Katie Buitrago talks to WGN News about property owners who receive a foreclosure notice, but the bank decides not to go through with an auction, leaving the property vulnerable to decay and vacancy.

Watch the story





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