For more than 30 years, the California Reinvestment Coalition has advocated on behalf of low income communities and communities of color.
During that time, we have focused on a variety of issues:
Banking: Under the Community Reinvestment Act, banks have an obligation to meet the credit needs in the communities where they do business. CRC works to make sure that happens through bank meetings, advocacy, and working with banks to develop robust, transparent Community Reinvestment Act plans. We've also pushed for improvements to how banks interact with their communities- whether it's through stronger homeowner protections, better bank account options, or ensuring that communities have access to banks and not just high-cost options.
Housing: In the lead-up to the foreclosure crisis, CRC members and allies repeatedly warned banks, regulators, and our elected officials about the dangerous mortgages that were being originated to homeowners. Once the foreclosure crisis erupted, CRC was a strong and vocal voice on behalf of the millions of homeowners facing foreclosures. We advocated for strong protections (like the California Homeowner Bill of Rights), better services for homeowners (like competent translation services for English as a Second Language homeowners), and more transparency about who was getting help- and who wasn't. Through surveys of our members, we were able to provide a clear picture about the extent to which banks and mortgage servicers were helping homeowners- or not.
Most recently, CRC co-sponsored state legislation that will prevent so-called "widow foreclosures" against widowed and widower homeowners. California is the first state in the nation to pass such a bill.
Predatory Lending: Payday, car title, and high-cost installment loans are advertised as "quick fixes" for consumers in need of money quickly. However, the reality is far different. For example, research has found the majority of payday loan borrowers will end up renewing their loans repeatedly- and paying more high fees every time- this has been labeled the "debt trap." CRC has worked with our allies across California to stop industry efforts aimed at expanding this industry (and weakening consumer protections), and we've also played a key role in a number of cities passing ordinances to restrict these lenders. Most recently, CRC and 100+ of our members and allies weighed in with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as it designs new rules for this industry.
Consumers: Did you know that every year, over $19 million in public benefits are lost to ATM fees? Instead of going to help a family pay for food or medicine, consumers are losing money at the ATM machine when they withdraw their benefits. In addition to our work advocating for better, less expensive, bank accounts and prepaid cards, we're also working to reduce the amount of public benefits that are lost to these high cost fees.
CRC is working to help people stay in their homes, keep their businesses, and preserve and grow their assets. CRC uses a variety of tools in order to successfully advocate for positive change in these issue areas.