The Home Mortgage and Disclosure Act (HMDA) requires mortgage lenders to provide detailed reports of their lending activities to regulators and the public. HMDA data have long served as a powerful mechanism that identifies unfair lending practices, such as discriminating against minority families, women, and low-income borrowers. HMDA is 35 years old, however, and Congress recognized it was time for a tune-up.
Both in the U.S. and worldwide, microfinance has successfully become a tool for financial inclusion. Its popularity is demonstrated by its average annual asset growth of 39% between 2004 and 2008. Commercial banks and investors are increasingly interested in investments in microfinance institutions (MFI), which some in the industry celebrate because it represents scale and ability to reach hundreds of millions.
Until recently, the personal savings rate in the U.S. was negative 0.5 percent. Children need to be taught the importance of savings early. Governor Quinn is appointing a Task Force mandated to explore the development of a plan for instituting the children’s savings accounts.
Who are these borrowers? Not surprisingly, they are lower-income taxpayers, eligible for Earned Income Tax Credit, and more often than not, living in communities of color. In fact, according to a recent report from Woodstock Institute, taxpayers in African-American communities in Illinois in 2006 were 3.5 times more likely to use RALs than taxpayers from other communities.
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.