AFREF and 41 organizations sent comments in response to the CFPB’s proposed COVID loss mitigation rule urging the Bureau to make critical improvements to help avoid unnecessary foreclosures and to facilitate streamlined solutions for borrowers facing COVID-19 hardships that will make it possible for them to keep their homes and provide them with the stability they need to recover and rebuild.
AFR joined a letter to the Small Business Administration calling for the release of data pertaining to Paycheck Protection Program recipients’ loan forgiveness requests, which represents $194.5 billion of taxpayer money, most of which has already been forgiven. The letter urges the SBA to release the number of jobs borrowers supported with PPP funds, information on any pay reductions experienced by workers employed by borrowers, whether the borrower applied for or received a second draw PPP loan, among other important data points.
AFR joins a letter to the White House and the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE), calling on President Biden to nominate individuals to fill the fourteen open inspector general positions by June 1, 2021. Inspectors general are a linchpin of government accountability yet fourteen of the seventy-four total offices of the inspectors general are vacant. The ongoing response to COVID-19 has demonstrated the importance of using all available mechanisms within the federal government to ensure proper oversight and accountability of government programs.
AFR released housing policy recommendations to promote equitable housing access for all people in the United States, minimize pervasive harm from the COVID-19 pandemic, hold predatory actors accountable, and expand sustainable opportunities in communities of color.
Case study of a South Carolina tire factory owned by a global corporation that received a substantial loan from the Small Business Administration for pandemic relief while many genuinely small businesses were unable to access the program.
Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund organized a letter to the Federal Reserve Board (FRB) in response to their advanced notice of proposed rule making (ANPR) on the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). The letter outlined a number of guiding principles and approaches to ensure that any changes to the CRA framework would be limited to measures that will increase equity in bank investments and access to sustainable, wealth-building credit in underserved communities as the statute intended.
AFR joined a letter strongly supporting the Force Arbitration Injustice Repeal Act (FAIR Act). The letter stated that the legislation would ensure that workers, consumers, servicemembers, nursing home residents, ordinary investors, and small businesses harmed by bad actors will be able to bring valid claims in court, and would not be forced into private, secretive, corporate-controlled arbitration systems required by nonnegotiable contracts. It argued for the particular need for Congress to move forward with this legislation in light of the economic hardship facing working families during the pandemic.
AFR joined a letter urging Congress to expand assistance to homeowners in the upcoming COVID-19 relief package. The letter, which followed a previous letter to the Biden Administration urging for similar protections, requested that the upcoming COVID relief package include $25 billion for direct assistance to homeowners, with the bulk of the funds deployed through state housing finance agencies through the Homeowner Assistance Fund and including at least $100 million for housing counseling and $39.7 million for the Fair Housing Initiatives Program.
“Facing the most economic distress and illness, low-income families and communities of color are most at risk of losing their homes to foreclosure without relief. The Homeowner Assistance Fund is a necessary measure to stem the impending foreclosure crisis and prevent devastating losses for families and neighborhoods.”
Americans for Financial Reform joined a letter to the Biden administration highlighting the critical budget-related items that would help consumers in any upcoming Covid legislation. The letter urged President Biden to halt garnishment and offset certain tax refunds, fund a Housing Assistance Fund and housing counseling, and cancel student debt.