The Community Lending Fact Book: Measuring the recovery, one loan at a time

For 25 years, Chicago region community organizations, lenders, banking regulators, and the media have relied on Woodstock’s analysis of local lending patterns to highlight community investment success stories, and show how some communities have been passed over.

Senate financial reform bill embodies consumer protection principles

“While there is room for improvement, we believe this bill goes a long way towards creating a financial system in which all Americans can safely borrow, save, and flourish,” says Woodstock Institute president Dory Rand. “We support Sen. Dodd’s efforts to stand strong against the interests of Wall Street and create a bill that puts Main Street first.”

From the President: Illinois Community Investment Coalition fights for financial reform on Capitol Hill

Written by Dory Rand on March 10, 2010 - 12:00am

We must ensure that the result of negotiations is not a toothless and ineffectual regulator that lacks the resources and authority it needs to keep financial products safe, sustainable, and available.

Guest blog: We need consumer financial protection and reform

Written by Hedy Ratner, Co-President, Women's Business Development Center on March 3, 2010 - 12:00am

If you are…

  • Paying off credit cards that are charging you from 16% to 300% interest and penalties,
  • Forced to use payday loans with interest rates over 200%,
  • Unable to find credit to pay your household bills, and
  • A small business owner dependent on credit cards to pay your operational expenses and increased health care insurance for you, your family and your employees

Then you know that Senate banking reforms need to kick-start small businesses and protect our families.

From the President: Fair Finance Movement Finds Supporters in France

Written by Dory Rand on February 9, 2010 - 4:14pm

At the meeting of about 70 persons, which included representatives of all of the major French banks, Federal Reserve Board Director of Consumer and Community Affairs Sandra Braunstein and I shared information regarding how regulators, bankers and nonprofits use the publicly available data required under HMDA and CRA to evaluate if and how banks are serving the financial needs of lower-wealth persons and communities and small businesses.

Federal Reserve Chair Stresses Need for Better Regulation

Woodstock Institute agrees that better regulation could have helped avoid the irresponsible underwriting and proliferation of abusive and predatory lending practices that spurred the housing bubble. The Federal Reserve failed to use its authority to regulate these markets early enough to prevent a crisis.

From the President: Dodd proposal strengthens consumer protections, implements CRA

Written by Dory Rand on November 10, 2009 - 3:01pm
The proposal also establishes a strong Consumer Financial Protection Agency with the authority to implement a modernized Community Reinvestment Act (CRA)–a critical step to rooting out the financial industry’s worst practices.   With  foreclosures and vacant properties on the rise and property values on the decline in the Chicago region and throughout the country, we believe the best way to move forward is to protect consumers from predatory products and discriminatory practices.  As the CRA has demonstrated, safe and sustainable loans build stronger c


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