Despite unprecedented federal housing assistance during the pandemic, a report by Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies (JCHS) finds stark racial and income divides in its analysis of the nation’s rental market. Nearly a quarter of Black renters were behind on rent in the third quarter of 2021, as well as 19% of Hispanic renters. By contrast, the share of white renters in arrears was half that: 9%. ... read more »
Just as the annual holiday season of shopping and celebrating nears, a major federal financial regulator released new research detailing how communities of color not only are targeted by well-known types of predatory lenders, but new forms of fraud seek to exploit consumers in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic. ... read more »
Although many officials have called for a ‘return to normal’, millions of small businesses and communities need something new instead. In Black America especially, the ‘old normal’ never delivered equitable access to wealth-building opportunities as those that well-served served much of White America. Instead, a lengthy history of public policies designed to create and sustain a burgeoning middle class systemically excluded Blacks and other people of color. ... read more »
After more than a year of COVID-19, the nation’s collective ability to cope with dual public health and economic crises has diminished many consumers’ ability to remain financially stable. While this February’s national employment report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed a net gain of 379,000 jobs and white unemployment dropped to 5.6%, there was no corresponding improvement for Black and Latino workers. Instead, unemployment was respectively higher at 9.9% and 8.5%. ... read more »
Over the past year, COVID-19 and its variants have plagued the globe taking lives and interrupting normal activities in virtually all areas of life. For Black America, already plagued with steep health, income and wealth disparities, coping with the pandemic has been even more painful. ... read more »
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 »
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 »
“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 »
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 »
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 »
The nationwide protests against the heinous killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis policeman, is reminiscent of the 1960s era of turmoil and voices that fervently called for social and economic justice. Today’s turbulent times seem that history is repeating itself.
In addition to George Floyd, recent tragedies took the lives of a Black Louisville EMT in the middle of the night while she was asleep in her own bed. In another fatal incident, a young Black Georgia man jogging in daylight was shot dead. None of these three unarmed people deserved to die violently. ... read more »
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 »
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.
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