Servicer Scorecard allows homeowners to check data on mortgage servicer participation in Keep Your Home California

Have you been following Keep Your Home California? Check out their new scorecard on which mortgage servicer approves the largest percentage of applications for Keep Your Home California.

Keep Your Home California

Which mortgage servicer approves the largest percentage of applications to Keep Your Home California?

How many days does it take for a response to an application from a specific servicer? Who refers the most homeowners to the free mortgage-assistance program?

Answers to these questions, and several more, are part of the Servicer Scorecards, a just-released tool for homeowners at www.KeepYourHomeCalifornia.org.

The data allows homeowners to determine how much their mortgage servicer participates in the $2 billion program.

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Keep Your Home California – designed for financially strapped homeowners needing help with their mortgage – will rate the 140-plus mortgage servicers enrolled in the program on a monthly basis.  From the big-name banks such as Bank of America and Wells Fargo to the smaller credit unions, as long as a servicer completed at least one transaction during the month, they will be included on the scorecard.

 Each servicer participating in…

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Dear Debt Collectors: Using This Envelope Will Only Get You In Trouble With The FTC

Gee, we can’t imagine why debt collectors get a bad name? As a reminder, CA passed two laws protecting consumers from illegal debt collection- you can read them in our previous post: “TWO LAWS SIGNED BY GOVERNOR BROWN WILL HELP CONSUMERS IN CALIFORNIA FACING ILLEGAL DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES”

Consumerist

Remember that rundown of debt-collection practices that violate federal law? Here’s one to add to the list: When sending debt collection notices to consumers, don’t use an envelope that depicts a man being turned upside-down and having his pockets emptied.

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Bay Area City Joins Movement Against Predatory Payday Lenders

Sunnyvale Passes Payday Lending Reforms

Sunnyvale, September 25, 2013— With a backdrop of state legislative inaction on payday reform and growing national visibility on the issue, the City Council of Sunnyvale voted last night to restrict the growth of payday lenders by enacting a “cap” on the number of lenders, creating “buffer zones” between lenders, allowing payday lending only in designated areas, and establishing operational standards. Most notable of the operational standards is that the city will require local payday lenders to provide information on “alternatives” available to consumers within the city and county that might be more appropriate than their high-cost, short-term loan product, which has garnered increasing criticism for creating cyclical debt for users.

Sunnyvale joins over a dozen other California cities that have enacted local controls to address or prevent the over proliferation of these and other fringe financial outlets. Just last week, the City of Long Beach adopted a similar policy, which strictly limits the development of any new payday lender, check casher or auto title lender. San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento and San Jose have also adopted zoning limitations on high cost financial service entities in recent years.

Marie Bernard, Executive Director of Sunnyvale Community Services, one of the community leaders who attended the meeting voiced her support. She explains, “We’ve worked directly with people caught in the ‘payday loan debt trap,’ who have taken out multiple loans with high fees and interest rates up to 459%. By enacting this ordinance, the City of Sunnyvale makes a strong statement that we want to protect residents from predatory loan businesses.”

The ordinance creates a “cap” of six payday lenders in the city (there are currently eight in business, so if two leave, they can’t be replaced), requires a “buffer zone” of at least 1,000 feet between payday lenders, allows payday lending only in highway business commercial zones, and will create operational standards that new lending establishments will have to follow.

Liana Molina, the payday campaign organizer with the California Reinvestment Coalition, a member of the Coalition Against Payday Predators, (CAPP) applauded the council’s vote: “Tonight’s vote adds to the momentum of other California communities like Gilroy and Fresno that are considering similar ordinances to restrict payday and other fringe lenders. We hope officials in Sacramento heard tonight’s message loud and clear: local communities don’t want these businesses and the financial heartaches they create for our families.”

Kyra Kazantzis, Directing Attorney at the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, also a member of CAPP, voiced her support: “Cities like Sunnyvale are taking courageous steps forward to restrict these modern day loan sharks. Looking forward, the California legislature should address the problem of payday lending at the state level.” (A state bill, SB 515, would limit the number of loans a person can receive annually, and would lengthen the amount of time borrowers have to pay back the loan.)

Additional Background: The Coalition Against Payday Predators (CAPP) is a coalition of 10 local organizations working to end payday lending in Santa Clara County. The coalition has received endorsements from over 40 local organizations and is funded by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, which was recognized earlier this month by the National Center for Responsive Philanthropy for its payday lending work.

The San Jose Mercury News (8/27/12), the Sacramento Bee (9/16/13), and the New York Times (9/15/13) have published editorials against payday lending.

The Long Beach City Council voted 8-0 last week on an ordinance limiting payday lending in their city.

Are you a Californian who has used a payday loan and would like to share your story? Do you want to get involved in local efforts to restrict payday lending in our communities? If so, please contact Liana Molina, CRC’s Payday Campaign Organizer: Liana@calreinvest.org  or 415-864-3980.

To stay up to date on financial justice issues in California, especially as they relate to low income communities, and communities of color, you can follow the California Reinvestment Coalition on our Facebook page, via Twitter, watch our movies on ourYouTube Channelsign up to receive our newsletter and action alerts, and of course, visit our website.

Sunnyvale City Council to Vote on Restricting Payday Lending

Editor’s note: The CFPB, a federal agency, has proposed new rules for payday, car title, and high-cost installment lenders.

 

BUT, they need to hear from consumers- that means you! We have an easy-to-use page where you can weigh in- it only takes a minute and will help bring about important consumer protections with these loans. Please share a line or two in the comments box about why you care about this issue and want to see strong federal reforms.

PS: You do NOT have to be a payday, car title, or installment borrower to sign the petition.

Sunnyvale, September 23, 2013—The City Council of Sunnyvale will vote tomorrow night on an ordinance to restrict the growth of payday lenders by enacting a “cap” on the number of lenders, creating “buffer zones” between lenders, allowing payday lending only in designated areas, and establishing operational standards.

Marie Bernard, Executive Director of Sunnyvale Community Services, supports the ordinance. She explains, “We’ve worked directly with people caught in the ‘payday loan debt trap,’ who have taken out multiple loans with high fees and interest rates up to 459%. By enacting this ordinance, the City of Sunnyvale is making a strong  statement that we want to protect residents from predatory loan businesses.”

Liana Molina, the payday campaign organizer with the California Reinvestment Coalition, a member of the Coalition Against Payday Predators, (CAPP) explained, “By voting for this ordinance tomorrow, city councilmembers will stop the spread of predatory lending in Sunnyvale and join a state-wide movement of cities for payday reform.” CAPP has successfully advocated to limit payday lending in San Jose, Santa Clara County, Los Altos, and current efforts are under way in Gilroy.

Kyra Kazantzis, Directing Attorney at the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, also a member of CAPP, voiced her support: “Cities like Sunnyvale are taking courageous steps forward to address these modern day loan sharks.  These cities are sending a strong message to the California legislature that it should address the problem of payday lending at the state level.”  (A state bill, SB 515, would limit the number of loans a person can receive annually, and would lengthen the amount of time borrowers have to pay back the loan.)

Who: Sunnyvale City Council, community leaders, and financial justice advocates. Community leaders will be present to make public comment in support of the policy.

What: The City Council will vote on an ordinance to limit payday lenders in the city. The ordinance would create a “cap” of 6 payday lenders in the city (meaning no more than 6 payday lenders could be operating in the city at one time), create a “buffer zone” of at least 1,000 feet between payday lenders, allow payday lending only in highway business commercial zones, and create operational standards that new lending establishments would have to follow.

Why: The City Council wants to reduce the impact of these businesses by limiting their numbers, ensuring that the businesses are not located in residential area or concentrated in one particular location.

When:  Tuesday, September 23, 2013 at 7pm

Where: Council Chambers of City Hall, 456 W. Olive Ave, Sunnyvale CA, 94086

Additional Background:  The Coalition Against Payday Predators (CAPP) is a coalition of 10 local organizations working to end payday lending in Santa Clara County. The coalition has received endorsements from over 40 local organizations and is funded by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

The San Jose Mercury News (8/27/12), the Sacramento Bee (9/16/13), and the New York Times (9/15/13) have published editorials against payday lending.

The Long Beach City Council voted 8-0 last week on an ordinance limiting payday lending in their city.

Confirm Congressman Melvin Watt to Lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency

Mel Watt Confirmation

photo credit: MassLive.com: “Springfield families facing foreclosure protest policies of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac”

Congressman Melvin Watt has been nominated to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency, unfortunately, his confirmation has not moved forward in Congress yet.

The California Reinvestment Coalition supports the confirmation of Congressman Melvin Watt as the Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and recently signed onto a letter with 45 other organizations, urging Congress to allow an up or down vote.  In 2012, CRC organized a letter with 96 other community groups  to FHFA acting director Ed DeMarco, asking him to allow principal reductions with Fannie/Freddie loans, stop dual-tracking with Fannie/Freddie loans, and to offer tenants long-term leases if they are being displaced by their landlord’s foreclosure.

The director of the FHFA holds considerable power to improve policies at Fannie and Freddie and to ensure no more unnecessary foreclosures or tenant displacements, which is why CRC signed onto the letter below, which was organized by the National Fair Housing Alliance. To add your support and to stay posted on Representative Watt’s confirmation, follow #confirmwatt on Twitter.

Confirm Congressman Melvin Watt to Lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency

September 11, 2013

Dear Senator:

The undersigned civil rights, consumer, labor, housing, faith, and community
development organizations write to urge you to allow an up or down vote on the
nomination of Congressman Melvin Watt to a five-year term as Director of the Federal
Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). Congressman Watt is an extremely qualified nominee
to lead the FHFA and has an exceptional understanding of financial markets and an
appreciation for the crucial role that FHFA plays in stabilizing and strengthening our
economy.

American families continue to reel from the foreclosure crisis, and it is far from over.
Today, more than 10.7 million homeowners in the United States owe at least 25 percent or more on their mortgage than their property is actually worth, representing 23 percent of all homeowners with a mortgage in the nation. Families remain unable to sell and are stuck in their homes taking significant losses to their bottom lines until the housing market fully recovers. American homeowners need a regulator who will get things back on track for everyone.

Congressman Watt was one of the first to warn against the predatory mortgage lending practices that characterized the boom in subprime lending that devastated our entire economy. He helped to lead the effort to end these often discriminatory lending practices that caused the collapse of our financial system and led to the Great Recession. Congressman Watt called for safety, soundness and fairness to prevail over the blind rush for short-term profits.

Mr. Watt has demonstrated a commitment to helping communities that have been hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis, so that they too can share in our economic recovery. A hard lesson from the crisis is that when some of our communities do not receive fair treatment, all of our communities are impacted detrimentally. Our global competitiveness is challenged when all of our communities do not have the opportunity to succeed together.

Mr. Watt’s leadership would assure that the American public continues to have access to wealth-building opportunities through homeownership and would ensure access to much needed rental housing at a time when communities of color have suffered a massive loss of wealth built over a generation.

Throughout his career, Congressman Watt has proven that he is a fair, principled and effective leader whose policy positions are based on consumer and market needs. He understands how important it is for the secondary mortgage market to provide liquidity for all market segments, including those that historically have been underserved, in a way that promotes healthy, responsible growth for the entire country. He is eminently qualified for this job, and we urge the Senate to move quickly to confirm his nomination.

Sincerely,

AFL-CIO
American Association of People with Disabilities
American Federation of Government Employees
Americans for Financial Reform
Asian Americans Advancing Justice
Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
California Reinvestment Coalition
Center for Responsible Lending
Communications Workers of America
Community Action Partnership
Consumer Action
Empire Justice Center
The Greenlining Institute
Hip Hop Caucus
International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace & Agricultural Implement Workers
of America (UAW)
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
MALDEF
NAACP
NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc.
National Association of Consumer Advocates
National Association of Human Rights Workers (NAHRW)
National Association of Neighborhoods
National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education
National Bar Association
National Black Justice Coalition
National Center for Lesbian Rights
National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (National
CAPACD)
National Community Reinvestment Coalition
National Council of La Raza
National Disability Rights Network
National Fair Housing Alliance
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
National Immigration Law Center
National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty
National Low Income Housing Coalition
National Organization for Women
National People’s Action
page 3/ Confirm Congressman Melvin Watt to Lead the FHFA
National Urban League
New Bottom Line
The Opportunity Agenda
PICO National Network
PolicyLink
Poverty & Race Research Action Council
United Food and Commercial Workers, International
United Steelworkers (USW)

Sunnyvale, CA, City Council votes on payday lending ordinance

Editor’s note: The CFPB, a federal agency, has proposed new rules for payday, car title, and high-cost installment lenders.

 

BUT, they need to hear from consumers- that means you! We have an easy-to-use page where you can weigh in- it only takes a minute and will help bring about important consumer protections with these loans. Please share a line or two in the comments box about why you care about this issue and want to see strong federal reforms.

PS: You do NOT have to be a payday, car title, or installment borrower to sign the petition.

Editorials from NYT and Sac Bee against payday lenders, and the momentum continues next week in Sunnyvale, CA!

Coalition Against Payday Predators

Sunnyvale, California, City Council will be voting on a “Payday Ordinance,” which would limit the future growth of the predatory payday loan industry in Sunnyvale.

There’s growing momentum on this issue around the state. Last night the Long Beach City Council voted 8-0 for an ordinance that would greatly restrict the expansion of the fringe financial sector, including payday lenders, check cashers, auto title lenders and other high cost lenders throughout the city.

Sunnyvale is next! The meeting agenda is not available to the public yet, but we have requested that this issue be early on the agenda  (we hope they will accommodate our request).

How can you help?

1) Please join us next Tuesday September 24 at 7 pm at Sunnyvale City Hall, 456 W. Olive Avenue, to demonstrate support for a local ordinance.  rsvp to liana@calreinvest.org

and

2) Send a letter or email to Mayor Tony Spitaleri and…

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Long Beach City Council Votes to Limit Payday Lenders, Check Cashers and Car Title Lenders

Long Beach City Council Votes 8-0 to Limit Payday Lenders, Check Cashers, and Car Title Lenders

Long Beach, September 18, 2013–The Long Beach City Council voted 8-0 last night to enact an ordinance restricting the growth of new check cashers, payday and auto title lenders and other fringe financial entities throughout the city.

The “Financial Services Ordinance” will create a buffer zone of at least 1,320 feet between fringe financial storefronts, requires a conditional use permit and sets forth operational standards these businesses must follow.

Liana Molina, the payday campaign organizer with the California Reinvestment Coalition, applauded the council’s vote and the advocacy carried out by neighborhood leaders and community organizations to pass the ordinance. She explained, “This ordinance is a strong step forward in addressing the over-proliferation of high cost, predatory lenders and alternative financial services throughout the city. The community is working hard to transform and improve various neighborhoods in Long Beach, and this ordinance is an important tool that will help protect neighborhoods from being targeted by this industry.”

Mauna Eichner and Lee Fukui, residents of Wrigley, are part of a group of community leaders who advocated for the ordinance. They explain, “Predatory lenders depress our neighborhood and strip money out of our local economy, right out of the pockets of our neighbors who can least afford it. Tonight the city council did the right thing and sent a strong message that the vitality of Long Beach residents and neighborhoods is more important than profits made off of loans with upwards of 450% interest rates. We are pleased with the Council’s decision and are confident that this policy will help advance our goals of making Long Beach a great place to live.”

Additional Background on Payday Lenders and other fringe lenders:

CRC is working with Fresno community leaders to restrict payday lending in their city, and is part of the Coalition against Payday Predators, that successfully advocated for limiting payday lending in San Jose and is working to restrict payday lending in Sunnyvale and Gilroy.

A state bill, SB 515 supported by advocates including the California Reinvestment Coalition, the Center for Responsible Lending, the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley and National Council of La Raza, would have limited the number of loans a person can receive annually, and also would have lengthened the amount of time borrowers have to pay back the loan. SB 515 was defeated in the Senate Banking Committee and did not move forward in 2013.

Are you a Californian who has used a payday loan and would like to share your story? Do you want to get involved in local efforts to restrict payday lending in our communities? If so, please contact Liana Molina, CRC’s Payday Campaign Organizer: Liana@calreinvest.org  or 415-864-3980.

To stay up to date on financial justice issues in California, especially as they relate to low income communities, and communities of color, you can follow the California Reinvestment Coalition on our Facebook page, via Twitter, watch our movies on ourYouTube Channelsign up to receive our newsletter and action alerts, and of course, visit our website.