Martin Eakes Receives Ned Gramlich Lifetime Achievement Award

(Opportunity Finance Network Press Release - October 29, 2009) Charlotte, NC - Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) announced today that Martin Eakes, a nationally recognized expert on community development finance serving low-income people and communities, received the third annual Ned Gramlich Lifetime Achievement Award for Responsible Lending. Named in memory of the late Federal Reserve Board Governor Edward (Ned) Gramlich, the Award honors a lifetime of achievement in responsible financial services. Gramlich served as a Board Member of OFN after leaving the Federal Reserve Board. Read the

Consumer Groups Back Rep. Maloney’s Continued Push for Overdraft Reform

October 26, 2009— The Center for Responsible Lending, Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, National Consumer Law Center, on behalf of its low-income clients, and U.S. PIRG applaud Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney as she renews her push for overdraft reform with the "Overdraft Protection Act of 2009" (H.R. 3904), introduced last week. Momentum in Congress toward substantive reform is building and welcome. Abuses have rapidly thrust consumer overdraft fees to well over $20 billion per year. Rep. Maloney's bill, like similar legislation introduced last week by Senator Dodd, would give

Consumer Financial Protection Agency Vote a Strong Start

Washington, D.C. – "We commend the leadership of Chairman Barney Frank and the House Financial Services Committee for passing the Consumer Financial Protection Agency legislation (H.R. 3126). It's a strong start to creating an agency that would be solely dedicated to providing financial safeguards for Americans, though before final passage must be substantially strengthened if it is to curtail the abuses that triggered the current economic crisis. To succeed the CFPA must have the oversight and enforcement authority to end the predatory practices that have pushed tens of millions of families

Consumer groups applaud Senator Dodd’s Overdraft Reform Bill

Consumer groups strongly support Senator Christopher Dodd for introducing a bill this week that would curb many of the abusive overdraft practices of banks and credit unions. Those practices now strip nearly $24 billion annually from checking accounts, primarily from Americans living paycheck-to-paycheck. The "Fairness and Accountability in Receiving Overdraft Coverage Act" ("FAIR Act") that Dodd has proposed would require financial institutions to obtain explicit permission from all their customers before enrolling them in a system of fee-based overdraft coverage for debit card and ATM

Overdraft Fees Exploding, Up 35 % in Two Years

Banks and credit unions collected nearly $24 billion in overdraft fees last year, an increase of 35 percent from just two years earlier, a new study by the Center for Responsible lending shows. The explosion in overdraft charges has drained the wallet of as many as 51 million Americans whose accounts become overdrawn annually. It is particularly harmful to financially vulnerable families already hit hard by the recession. "Banks and credit unions have become so sophisticated in driving up overdrafts that Americans now pay more in overdraft fees every year than they do for books, cereal, or

Overdraft Reform Must Be Put into Law

"Americans are fed up with bank overdraft practices. Media scrutiny and proposed legislation in Congress prompted three of the nation's largest banks to unveil changes to their overdraft policies this week. But the changes are far from enough and, in fact, underscore the need for comprehensive overdraft reform as quickly as possible. Only one of the three banks has announced significant improvements: It will stop charging overdraft fees on debit card transactions unless customers have explicitly signed up for that kind of coverage. And it will stop the unfair practice most banks follow of re

Implementation of New Credit Cards Rules Needed As Soon As Possible

Statement by Mike Calhoun, president of CRL, on credit card legislation proposed today by Joint Economic Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney and House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank "Hard-working Americans who use credit cards to help pay bills, buy groceries, and make ends meet need relief sooner rather than later from the industry's destructive tricks and traps, especially during hard times like these. We commend Chairwoman Maloney and Chairman Frank for proposing that the consumer protections in the recently passed Credit CARD Act be fully implemented December 1, 2009

New Consumer Protection Agency Must Be Independent

"We're pleased Chairman Frank remains dedicated to the creation of an agency focused on ensuring that consumer financial markets work fairly. Moving forward, we must ensure that the agency isn't dominated by the regulatory agencies that helped cause the current crisis. We must ensure it has oversight over the financial products that are critical in the daily lives of millions of Americans. And we must ensure that the 50 states can address problems in their own back yards, rather than having to wait for Washington. We look forward to working with Chairman Frank and the committee's members." For

NC statewide coalition works to save NC families' homes

Foreclosure trends in North Carolina are dramatic and disturbing. Over recent years, foreclosure filings have tripled, with almost 40,000 foreclosure filings in the first eight months of this year. In addition, at the end of the second quarter 2009, the MBA National Delinquency Survey states that one out of ten NC borrowers are behind on their home loan. For the families that lose their home, some of whom will never own a home again, this is devastating. It is also devastating for the neighborhoods where homes sit vacant and property values decline. Despite these disturbing numbers, these

Costliest Bailout Ever: Why Oversight Overhaul is Needed

"On the anniversary of the costliest financial bailout in U.S. history, we back President Obama's renewed call for the creation of a new agency to bring commonsense oversight to the financial services industry and, in the process, protect consumers, taxpayers and the economy from a repeat of the current fiasco. The regulators responsible for making our financial system work have failed. That's clear from widespread foreclosures devastating millions of Americans and surrounding neighborhoods, from unfair bank overdraft fees and credit card practices that cost consumers tens of billions of