Confusing information provided by the nation’s biggest banks is making it difficult for consumers to understand the real costs of overdraft and make informed decisions, a mystery shopping investigation released today by four organizations from across the country found. The four organizations—California Reinvestment Coalition of Oakland, CA; New Economy Project of New York, NY; Reinvestment Partners of Durham, NC; and Woodstock Institute of Chicago, IL—are calling upon federal banking regulators and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to strengthen consumer protections for all overdraft products. You can read a CNBC article about the report here: Confusion still surrounds overdraft policies
A new survey of housing counselors and attorneys finds homeowners are facing unreasonable delays, numerous obstacles, and servicer run-arounds in seeking help from their mortgage servicers, despite new laws, programs, and settlements intended to protect homeowners. Housing counselors report that loan servicing transfers, Single Points of Contact not being available, and a lack of accountability prevent homeowners from accessing much-needed relief to avoid foreclosure. In conjunction with the survey (completed by 60+ counselors), eleven homeowners who worked with Housing and Economic Rights Advocates (HERA) shared declarations that outline the many problems they and their nonprofit attorneys encountered in trying to obtain relief. You can also listen to a story about the report and an individual homeowner and the difficulties she's faced in trying to keep her family home: NPR Morning Edition: Foreclosure Overhaul Comes Too Slowly For Many Homeowners (Chris Arnold, May 20, 2014).
March 25, 2014
This report cites the $19.4 million in ATM fees paid by recipients of CALWORKs and other public assistance programs in 2012. The report calls on banks, the State of California, local counties, and nonprofit partners to work together to reduce the amount of money being lost to ATM fees through the CalWORKs program, which serves families with children and accounts for about 85% of the ATM fees. You can read an article in the Mother Jones' blog about the report: How Big Banks Rake in Millions on the Backs of California's Poorest Families
Small Business Access to Credit- The Little Engine that Could: If Banks Would Help
December 23, 2013
CRC's fourth report looking at small businesses finds that despite receiving subsidies from the Federal Government, banks have not expanded their lending to small businesses since they tightly restricted it in 2008. Businesses owned by Latinos, African-Americans, and women have seen an enormous decrease in availability of credit- both in loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration and conventional loans. You can read an article about the report in the Credit Union Times: California Banks Tighten Purse Strings, Small Businesses Suffer
Down in the Valley: Financial Neglect in Rural California
June 11, 2013
The most powerful banks in California and the nation are failing to meet the financial services and credit needs of residents and businesses in the San Joaquin Valley. Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo (the “Big 3 banks”) provide a lower level of affordable consumer, housing and small business lending and services to Valley residents and businesses than they do to consumers in other parts of California. Bank regulators contribute to this failure because they do not enforce the necessary attention from banks to nonmetropolitan areas like the Valley. As a result, the San Joaquin Valley lags in growth—a bleak fact that has become increasingly apparent during the current economic recovery. The report documents disinvestment in the San Joaquin Valley.
The Case for Banning Payday Lending: Snapshots from Four Key States
June 3, 2013
This report outlines the battles against the payday lending industry in states with strong usury cap protections, such as New York and North Carolina, and in states like California and Illinois with weaker laws that allow payday lenders to charge triple-digit APR loans that trap people in a cycle of debt. The report calls on states and federal regulators to take strong action against all forms of payday lending, including storefront, internet, and bank payday lending. The report was written by the California Reinvestment Coalition (CRC), NEDAP, Reinvestment Partners and Woodstock Institute.
Chasm Between Words and Deeds IX: Bank Violations Hurt Hardest Hit Communities
April 3, 2013
CRC's ninth survey of 84 housing counselors and legal service providers reveals that banks are violating several consumer protections that were mandated by the $26 billion National Mortgage Settlement (NMS) and the California Homeowners Bill of Rights. In addition, the survey reveals that bank practices continue to disproportionately affect disadvantaged and hard-hit communities including limited English proficient (LEP) borrowers, widows, and people with disabilities.
Checking Out: How Big Banks Are Pushing Consumers Out of Basic Bank Accounts
September 20, 2012 (updated version)
A bank account is the most basic building block of an individual’s financial identity. The nation's biggest banks have been increasing the cost of these bank accounts so that now the most basic banking account can cost a consumer anywhere from $84-144/year. Fee exclusions are only available to their wealthy customers, and their less fortunate customers are increasingly being pushed out of banking and towards prepaid card programs. CRC has developed a model bank account that is safe, reliable, and affordable-- the SafeMoney account-- that banks should adopt and offer to their customers.
Paying More for the American Dream VI: Racial Disparities in FHA/VA Lending
July 19, 2012
This is the 6th edition of the “Paying More for the American Dream” series, examining home purchase and refinance lending in communities of color in seven major metropolitan areas: Los Angeles, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, New York City, and Rochester. The report finds that government-backed loans made up almost 67% of the home purchase loans and 27% of refinance loans made in communities of color. The lack of access to prime conventional loans raises fair housing concerns, and suggests redlining and steering of borrowers of color to FHA loans.
Chasm Between Words and Deeds VIII: Lack of Bank Accountability Plagues Californians
April 12, 2012
CRC's eight survey of nonprofit housing counselors in California reveals persisting problem of "dual track", lack of access to principal reduction, fair housing concerns, failure of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency's Independent Foreclosure Review process, increased need for counseling services, and bank's failure to change practices.
The Wall Street Wrecking Ball: What Foreclosures are Costing Neighborhoods
September 15, 2011
CRC joined with the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) to analyze the full impact of foreclosures on a local level in five cities-- Los Angeles, Oakland, San Francisco, Sacramento, and San Jose. Foreclosures lead to decreased home values in neighborhoods, lost property tax revenues, and increased costs to local government. The reports include policy recommendations that would stop the wave of foreclosures and stabilize communities.
For a link to the Oakland report,click here .
For a link to the Los Angeles report,click here .
For a link to the San Francisco report,click here .
For a link to the Sacramento report,click here .
For a link to the San Jose report, click here.
Race to the Bottom: An Analysis of HAMP Loan Modification Outcomes by Race and Ethnicity for California
This CRC report analyzes bank loan modification performance in California, and in four metropolitan statistical areas-- Sacramento, Los Angeles, Fresno, and San Francisco/Oakland. The report uses recently released data from the Treasury Department on loan modification applications submitted as a part of the HAMP program, as well as the results of CRC's April/May 2011 survey of nonprofit housing counselors. The report reveals the shortfalls of the HAMP program, the continuing problems with servicers, and points out worrisome disparities in outcomes for borrowers of color. The report concludes with specific policy recommendations. This is the seventh survey of nonprofit housing counselors conducted by CRC.
Paying More for the American Dream V: The Persistence and Evolution of the Dual Mortgage Market
April 28, 2011
CRC and its collaborative partners released our fifth annual report in the Paying More for the American Dream series, examining conventional refinance lending in seven metropolitan areas across the country. The report documents disparities in the changes in refinance lending over this period and highlights disparate 2009 denial rates based on the racial composition of communities.
Home Wreckers: How Wall Street Foreclosures Are Devastating Communities
A publication of the RE-Fund California Campaign, a collaborative partnership between the Home Defenders League (a project of the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment), PICO CA (People Improving Communities Through Organizing), CRC, and SEIU Locals 100, 521, 721, and 1021. The report reveals the hidden costs of foreclosures to homeowners, neighborhoods, local governments, and the state.
Making the Grade: Are California's Biggest Banks Failing Consumers?
Bank Report Card. CRC's report card analyzes the fee impact of checking accounts offered by California's biggest banks.
Small Business Access to Credit: The Little Engine That Could
CRC's report on the drop in small business lending in California counties from 2007 to 2009.
California Home Ownership Preservation Initiative (CHOPI): Final Report
CHOPI was a two-year, $5.3 million statewide grant initiative to expand the availability of foreclosure intervention services in California to respond to the current mortgage foreclosure crisis. This report details the successes of housing counselors in helping homeowners prevent foreclosure. (13 pg. pdf)
Chasm Between Words and Deeds VI: HAMP Is Not Working
CRC's sixth survey of housing counselors.
Paying More for the American Dream IV: The Decline of Prime Mortgage Lending in Communities of Color
Examining the dramatic changes in prime mortgage lending in communities of color in the wake of the foreclosure crisis.
From Foreclosure to Re-Redlining: How America's Largest Financial Institutions Devastated California Communities
CRC's original research, using lending and loan modification data, to see how banks acted in five California communities from 2007-2010.
Paying More for the American Dream III
Promoting Responsible Lending to Lower-Income Communities and Communities of Color
The Ongoing Chasm Between Words and Deeds: Part V
CRC's fifth survey of mortgage couseling agencies on the responsiveness of loan servicers.
The Widening Chasm Between Words and Deeds: Part IV
CRC's fourth survey of mortgage counseling agencies on the responsiveness of loan servicers.
The Continuing Chasm Between Words and Deeds: Part III
CRC's third survey of mortgage counseling agencies on the responsiveness of loan servicers.
Paying More for the American Dream: Part II
The Subprime Shakeout and Its Impact on Lower-Income and Minority Communities (41 pg. pdf)
The Growing Chasm Between Words and Deeds: Part II
CRC's second survey of mortgage counseling agencies on the responsiveness of loan servicers in December 2007
The Chasm Between Words and Deeds
CRC's first survey of mortgage counseling agencies on the responsiveness of loan servicers in August 2007
Free Checking is not Free
A Closer Look at Overdraft Fees: How California’s Largest Banks Profit from Low-Balance Account Holders (13 pg. pdf)
Foreclosed: The Burden of Homeownership Loss on City of Oakland and Alameda County Residents
A report by Housing and Economic Rights Advocates and CRC (47 pg. pdf)
Payday Lenders Evade Regulations
A Summary of Findings from Surveying Payday Lending Establishments (10 pg. pdf)
Paying More for the American Dream I
A Multi-State Analysis of Higher Cost Home Purchase Lending (21 pg. pdf)
Small Business Access to Bank Credit: the Little Engine that Could
CRC's Small Business Report (17 pg. pdf)
Who Really Gets Higher-Cost Home Loans 2006
CRC's 13th Annual HMDA Report (57 pg. pdf)
Who Really Gets Higher-Cost Home Loans 2005
CRC's 12th Annual HMDA Report (50 pg. pdf)
Where are the Bank Branches in my Community?
CRC's 2005 Bank Branch Analysis (15 pg. pdf)
The Financial Divide: An Uneven Playing Field
A look at banks financing of check cashers and payday lenders in California (16 pg. pdf)
Who Really Gets Higher-Cost Home Loans 2003
CRC's 11th Annual HMDA report; an analysis of mortgage lending to African-American and Latino borrowers in five California communities in 2003
Small Business Access to Bank Credit
CRC's Small Business Report 2003 (25 pg. pdf)
Who Really Gets Higher-Cost Home Loans 2002
CRC's 10th Annual HMDA report; an analysis of mortgage lending to African-American and Latino borrowers in five California communities in 2003
Stolen Wealth: Inequities in California's Subprime Mortgage Market
December 2001(59 pg. pdf)
Five Steps to Community Reinvestment Success
A manual for reinvestment campaigns (52 pg. pdf)
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