Help us make CRA work better for communities

May 9, 2013 - 8:23pm

We need to update CRA to reflect the realities of the modern banking era. Instead of branch-based banking, many transactions take place online or through networks of brokers. CRA must be changed so that banks have community responsibilities wherever they do business, not just wherever they have branches. And we need stronger ways to hold banks accountable for providing important services--such as affordable checking accounts--to low-income communities.

7,000 Illinoisans Tell Sen. Kirk it’s Time to Support CFPB Director Cordray

Written by Dan Fair on May 7, 2013 - 6:37pm

The petitions were delivered as part of a national movement during which over 160,000 Americans signed a petition from Americans for Financial Reform asking members of Congress to confirm Cordray let the CFPB continue to do its job of protecting consumers.

Nomination of Mel Watt to FHFA is welcome news

A replacement for Ed DeMarco, the current acting director of the FHFA, is long overdue. DeMarco has obstructed necessary policy changes that would have lessened the negative impact of the foreclosure crisis on families and communities alike. Specifically, he has barred Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from allowing lenders to reduce principal on underwater loans, even in situations where it would prevent foreclosure.

Woodstock Supports the Creation and Expansion of CFPB Consumer Complaint Database

The CFPB’s database is the largest public database of federal consumer financial complaints, providing information on over 90,000 complaints regarding particular financial institutions or financial products. The database enables the public to see what types of products consumer complained about and how particular financial institutions responded. Products about which CFPB is currently collecting data include mortgages, student loans, credit cards, and other consumer loans.

Regulators curb worst bank payday lending practices

The proposed standards require an assessment of the borrower’s eligibility for the product and financial capacity  to repay the loan and meet other financial obligations, limit the number of such loans borrowers can receive in one year, and mandate adequate management and monitoring of the significant safety and soundness risks posed by offering these high-cost, short-term loans.  The public has an opportunity to comment on the proposed guidance. 

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

Written by Dan Fair on April 16, 2013 - 8:35pm
These short-term, small-dollar loans can have triple-digit annual percentage rates (APR) and are known to disproportionately affect low-wealth consumers and communities of color, often trapping them in a vicious cycle of debt. A recent Center for Responsible Lending report showed the average bank payday loan customer took out 19 loans in 2011.

The Protecting Consumers from Unreasonable Credit Rates Act would limit abusive lending practices and create a fairer playing field for all consumers.

Sen. Kirk’s Vote on Cordray Disappoints

Written by Dan Fair on March 19, 2013 - 9:12pm
Last week, we sent a letter to Sen. Kirk urging him to vote in favor of Cordray’s confirmation. Illinoisans continue to suffer the effects of predatory and deceptive financial practices. At a time when consumer debt issues have topped the list of complaints to the Illinois attorney general five years in a row, Sen. Kirk’s vote is disappointing.
There’s no two ways around it: A vote against Cordray’s confirmation is a vote for fewer protections for Illinois consumers.


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