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Woodstock Institute

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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:19pm
Thu Jun 2, 2016

Federal Consumer Watchdog Proposes Crackdown On Payday Lending Practices

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) proposed new regulations Thursday to crack down on the payday lending industry. 

Payday lending provides short-term access to credit, but usually comes with high interest rates, often in the triple digits, and expensive fees.

"The consumer bureau is proposing strong protections aimed at ending payday debt traps," CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in a news release. "Too many borrowers seeking a short-term cash fix are saddled with loans they cannot afford and sink into long-term debt. It's much like getting into a taxi just to ride across town and finding yourself stuck in a ruinously expensive cross-country journey. By putting in place mainstream, common-sense lending standards, our proposal would prevent lenders from succeeding by setting up borrowers to fail."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
10:36pm
Thu May 28, 2015

Consumer Protection Agency Probing Student Loan Services; Researchers Analyze Borrowing At For-Profit Colleges

On the heels of new research detailing trends in student loan burdens at for-profit colleges, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau launched a public inquiry earlier this month into student loan servicing practices. 

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
3:07pm
Mon Sep 8, 2014

Chicago-Area Foreclosures Hit Pre-Recession Levels, But The Housing Crisis Is Far From Over

Chicago's six-county region recorded 13,916 new foreclosure filings in the first half of 2014, a nearly 38 percent drop from a year ago and the lowest level reached since 2007, according to a report by the Woodstock Institute. Local housing activists working to help struggling homeowners offer their take on the new data as well as policies meant to stymie the ongoing negative effects of foreclosures.

Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
5:40pm
Thu Aug 28, 2014

Study: Businesses In Low-Income, Majority Minority Areas Struggle To Access Credit

Small businesses in low-income, majority minority neighborhood in the Chicago area were less likely to receive loans between 2008 and 2012, according to a new report by the Woodstock Institute.

On average, about two of every seven businesses in low-income, majority minority areas received small business loans—including business credit cards, lines of credit, and traditional loans of under $1 million—from large financial institutions with assets of more than $1 billion, according to the report, “Dis-Credited: Disparate Access to Credit for Businesses in the Chicago Six County Region.”

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:47pm
Fri Jul 11, 2014

FHFA: 36,000 Underwater Chicago-Area Homeowners Eligible For Refinance Program (VIDEO)

Thousands of Chicago-area residents are eligible for, but have not taken advantage of, the federal Home Affordable Refinance Program, or HARP, which provides refinance opportunities for certain underwater homeowners.

Nearly 36,000 borrowers in the Chicago metro area are eligible to save between $2,000 to $3,000 annually by refinancing their mortgages as part of the program, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

PI Original
by Ashlee Rezin
11:22am
Wed Aug 21, 2013

Protesters Call On Fannie Mae, Bank Of America To Change Lending, Foreclosure Policies (VIDEO)

Protesters took to a downtown Bank of America branch and Fannie Mae’s corporate offices in Chicago Tuesday to urge one of the nation’s largest home mortgage servicers and the largest home mortgage investor to change their lending and foreclosure policies. Progress Illinois was there for the action. 

Quick Hit
by Aricka Flowers
4:19pm
Thu Jul 18, 2013

Local Groups Voice Displeasure With Kirk's Votes On Nominations

Two local groups have voiced their displeasure with U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk's (R-IL) votes on the nominations of Mel Watt for the head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and Gina McCarthy for the job of administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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