Department of Labor Issues Historic Fiduciary Rule

This is the official seal of the US Department of Labor.

Woodstock, along with 3,000 others, provided the DOL with comments when the DOL proposed the rule in April of last year.  The bulk of the Fiduciary Rule takes effect on April 10, 2017.  Today, without the rule, financial professionals are able to put their own interests ahead of their customers’ interests when providing advice that customers need to make critical retirement investment decisions.  The ability of advisors to avoid fiduciary responsibility has been shown to harm consumers. 


A Check-in on Our Legislative Priorities

This is an image of the Illinois State Capitol.

The bill on which we have spent the most time this session is SB 2804, and we have worked closely with our ally, the Illinois Asset Building Group.  The bill, which is sponsored by Senator Daniel Biss, would amend the Illinois Wage Assignment Act.  A wage assignment is a debt collection method used by non-traditional lenders -- like payday lenders -- to access a borrower’s wages when the borrower defaults on a loan.  Federal regulations provide that wage assignments are unlawful unless they are revocable by the borrower.  By contrast, under the Illinois

Small Business Lending and CRA Issues Trending

Written by Dory Rand on April 7, 2016 - 11:21am
This is an image with Dory Rand, of Woodstock Institute, with CFPB Director, Richard Cordray, and other allies.

Woodstock was pleased to lead a large and diverse delegation of NCRC members and nonprofit leaders from Illinois on Capitol Hill visits with our Illinois elected officials as part of NCRC’s largest and most successful 25th anniversary conference. We met with legislative aides from the offices of Senators Durbin and Kirk as well as Representative Jan Schakowsky and staff from the offices of Representatives Quigley, Hultgren, Dold, Bustos, Kelly, and Gutierrez.

With the rise of predatory small business lenders, Woodstock Institute calls for stronger regulations

Business owner at Jumping Bean Cafe

Last year, Woodstock worked closely with the Responsible Business Lending Coalition to develop a Small Business Borrower Bill of Rights (BBOR).  The BBOR was intended to establish best practices for the industry, including, for example, the responsibility to disclose an APR.  The BBOR is, however, completely voluntary.  There is no mechanism to enforce the BBOR against lenders who sign on to it, and some major lenders have simply refused to sign on to the BBOR.

Despite bipartisan support for a mandatory Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program, New Jersey opts for a voluntary plan for all employers

A year ago, Illinois became the first state in the nation to pass a law to address that looming retirement crisis.  Spurred, in part, by Woodstock Institute research that showed that 2.5 million private-sector workers in Illinois lacked access to any employment-based retirement savings plan, such as a 401(k), the state passed the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program.

Sign On Letter in Opposition of the Fairness in Class Action Litigation and Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act of 2015

This sign on letter is in opposition to H.R. 1927, the "Fairness in Class Action Litigation and Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act of 2015." The House may soon consider this resolution and Section 2 of this bill would effectively eviscerate consumer, antitrust, employment, and civil rights class actions.

How to submit complaints about financial products and services to the CFPB

Written by Dory Rand on January 4, 2016 - 12:00am

When submitting a complaint, consumers have the option to share their experiences (good or bad) with consumer financial products or services such as mortgages, bank accounts, overdraft, credit cards and deferred interest and reward programs, prepaid and campus cards, payday and installment loans, bank deposit advance products, forced arbitration and prohibition of class actions, remittances, credit reporting agencies, debt collections, student loans, auto loans, and auto title loans. Let the CFPB know what challenges you are facing.



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