Monday, November 23, 2020
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Charlene Crowell
COVID-19 Worsens Debt Collector Harassment
November 12, 2020
As the final days of the 2020 election season drew to a close, major media across the nation focused on polls and prospects for the presidential candidates. At the same time, scant news coverage reported on a development affecting 68 million consumers: debt collection regulation.  ... read more »
Civil rights groups oppose fast-tracked Supreme Court nominee: Nation’s diversity not represented in its courts
October 22, 2020
One of the most consequential decisions that presidents make are lifetime federal judicial appointments at every level: circuit, appellate and the U.S. Supreme Court. The independent federal judiciary is charged with ensuring that the nation’s courts are fair to all people. Even the phrase “equal justice under law” is carved in the stone façade of the Supreme Court building.   ... read more »
Wealth gap costs over last two decades: $2.7 trillion in Black income, $16 trillion to U.S. economy
October 8, 2020
“Yet even today, with all those credentials and as one of the leading executives on Wall Street,” wrote Raymond J. McGuire, Citi’s Vice Chairman and Chair of its Global Banking and Capital Markets, “I am still seen first as a six-foot-four, two-hundred-pound Black man wherever I go — even in my own neighborhood. I could have been George Floyd. And my wife and I are constantly aware that our children could have their innocence snatched away from them at any given moment, simply for the perceived threat of their skin color.” ... read more »
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Suffering Continues While more COVID-19 Aid Remains Stymied in Congress
September 24, 2020
Beyond the health effects, according to the the U.S. Census Bureau, as of August 31, over 80% of adults with post-high school education plans either cancelled or significantly changed those plans this fall. Further, a significant number of consumers are housing challenged, with one-third of adults anticipating either eviction or foreclosure in the next two months, and over 36% of adults continuing to telework due to the pandemic. ... read more »
Black households earned 61 cents for every dollar of White median incomes
September 10, 2020
The August 23 police shooting of an unarmed Black man in Kenosha, WI, triggered yet another round of community protests and national news coverage of a Black man. A series of multiple gunshots fired by a local police officer, were not fatal for 29-year old Jacob Blake; but may have permanently paralyzed him from the waist down.   ... read more »
Why Is Fair Housing Still A Distant Journey For Black America?
August 20, 2020
Public pressure to restore a key HUD rule has united civil rights, public and private sector stakeholders in a swelling and nearly daily drumbeat of concern calling for fair housing to be supported and HUD’s replacement rule be rescinded.      On July 23 the rule known as Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) HUD Secretary Ben Carson termed the rule as “a ruse for social engineering under the guise of desegregation”.    ... read more »
Supreme Court Decision Jeopardizes CFPB’s Future and its Independence
July 9, 2020
A June 29 U.S. Supreme Court split decision represents a major setback to both the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the consumers who have come to rely upon the agency. Since 2010, more than 25 million consumers were helped by the agency’s efforts that returned over $11 billion.    Although the case known as Seila Law v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, was argued on March 3 of this year, its origins date back to 2017 when Seila Law, a California-based debt relief firm, asked the CFPB to set aside a civil investigative demand (CID) that sought information to determine whether it was engaged in illegal debt relief practices.   ... read more »
Fair credit denials limit wealth-building for Black consumers and businesses
March 19, 2020
For much of Black America, access to fair and responsible credit has been an elusive promise. Whether as consumers seeking the pride of homeownership or businesses seeking to begin or expand, securing credit remains an age-old, arduous and often frustrating pursuit – despite a slew of federal and state laws enacted to overcome these long-standing racial disparities. ... read more »
Black America’s Housing Crisis: More Renters Than Homeowners, Homeless Population Jumps 12%
February 6, 2020
For many consumers, the combined costs of housing, transportation, food, and utilities leave room for little else from take-home pay. ... read more »
Will proposed CRA rule help or hurt Black America?
December 26, 2019
Amid the tinsel and garland celebrating the holiday season, two important federal financial regulators are planning how the future financial needs of low-and-moderate income (LMI) communities - including neighborhoods of color - will be met.  In an effort to “modernize” the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) on December 12 the board of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) endorsed a proposed Notice of Public Rulemaking (NPR) offered by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).  ... read more »
FTC announces record $191M settlement against University of Phoenix
December 19, 2019
The University of Phoenix (UOP), one of the nation’s largest for-profit colleges will pay a record $191 million settlement to resolve charges stemming from a five-year investigation by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). On December 10, Andrew Smith, Director of FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection noted it was the largest settlement the Commission has obtained in a case against a for-profit school. ... read more »
FDIC and OCC Proposals Would Strip Away Payday Loan Rate Caps In 16 States and in DC
November 28, 2019
For most people who either work, receive retirement or other fixed benefits, it seems that your money always goes a lot quicker than it comes. While some economists marvel at Wall Street’s brisk trading and declare that the economy is better than ever, not everyone has been included.  On Main Street America, millions of people know that the cost of living is rising faster and higher than their incomes. ... read more »
Housing Discrimination Complaints Reach a 24-Year High, While HUD Rolls Back Fair Housing Rules
November 21, 2019
As a candidate, President Donald Trump promised if elected that deregulation of the federal government would be an administration priority. Soon after taking the oath of office, he issued an executive order requiring that all departments and agencies to eliminate two existing regulations for every one new regulation proposed. In some cases, rules that were adopted prior to his term office but had not yet taken effect were either suspended or delayed. ... read more »
America’s Veterans Deserve Better from For-Profit Colleges
November 14, 2019
Every year, the 11th day of the 11th month is observed as Veterans Day. It’s a time to honor the 18.2 million men and women still living who served in at least one war. Though observances vary across the nation, each celebrates the American ideal of service to country.  ... read more »
Remembering Congressman Elijah Cummings and the Journey Still Ahead
November 7, 2019
The nationally televised October 25 funeral services for the late Congressman Elijah E. Cummings, paused partisan debates and revealed how a son of Baltimore worked tirelessly for his constituents and for this nation. In the days since his home-going, I have marveled at how his life’s work somehow brought together officials who held firm to their stark political divides but united to honor a man who believed that everyone deserved a fair chance at all America had to offer. ... read more »
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