The following organizations have made this important information available in Spanish, Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese, Bangla and English: AFR Language Access Task Force, Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund, Center for Responsible Lending, Consumer Action, Empire Justice Center, National CAPACD, National Consumer Law Center, National Fair Housing Alliance, and UnidosUS.
AFR in the News: During tenure working for banks, Tim Pawlenty thrilled Wall Street, angered consumer advocates (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)
“Across party and regional lines, most people think Wall Street has too much influence in Washington. And they think that because it does,” said Lisa Donner, executive director of Americans for Financial Reform, a consortium of labor unions, consumer groups, liberal think tanks and organizations like AARP.
“I don’t see the real-world problem [the bill] is trying to solve, except the problem of bankers’ not making enough money,” said Marcus Stanley, policy director at Americans for Financial Reform… [Stanley] said competition alone shouldn’t be the goal. “If we didn’t require airlines to do anything before opening up a new air route, there might be more airlines, but there might be more plane crashes too.”
Letter to Regulator: AFR, 8 organizations provide detailed recommendations to FHFA to improve language access in the mortgage industry
“The burden of interpreting financial services jargon and communicating with lenders and servicers should not rest solely on borrowers. . . . Expanding access to language services throughout the mortgage process would begin to equalize a system that currently undermines the ability of LEP borrowers to understand the complexities of their future homeownership prospects and to protect their home after purchasing it.”
“AFR hopes that other agencies and private investors recognize the CFPB’s thoughtful recommendations and that the CFPB will remain an active participant in this important conversation.”
A newly released paper urges regulators to make it easier for people with limited English proficiency (LEP) to understand and navigate the financial system, especially the mortgage loan market. A companion paper tells the stories of several LEP homeowners who belatedly discovered unfavorable mortgage terms and had great difficulty securing loan modifications.
“Allowing mortgage applicants to choose in which language they are most comfortable in communicating addresses a major problem of lenders and servicers working with limited English proficiency (LEP) populations and collecting this information through the URLA is the most comprehensive way to do so, because every mortgage borrower fills one out.”
“In a stroke of brilliant financial maneuvering Lone Star bundled some of the mortgages into bonds and sold them to investors, immediately booking large profits… ‘Lone Star has bought these loans at a discount from the government–-in effect, they got principal reduction. But they are not passing this benefit on to homeowners or communities,’ says Lisa Donner, executive director of Americans for Financial Reform.
The House of Representatives passed two ill-advised financial deregulation bills on November 18th. Both are giveaways to some of the country’s biggest banks. Both, if they ever became law, would mark a dangerous retreat from the financial reforms put in place after the financial crisis.
A key mortgage lending reform – which would be rolled back by a bill coming up for a vote in the House of Representatives next week – commands the support of an overwhelming majority of voters, according to a poll conducted this summer by Lake Research on behalf of Americans for Financial Reform and the Center for Responsible Lending.