Payday Lending Regs, Good; Not Going Far Enough, Bad!

New Orleans      I was sitting next to an organizer from British Columbia while reading the reports on the new set of regulations being proposed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on payday lending.  We have fought payday lenders in Canada for over a decade and we’re batting over .500, but a long way from a […]

Renewable Energy Cooperatives

Gatineau         George Brown is the Ottawa ACORN pro bono lawyer, which is how I came to meet him and find myself in an interesting chat on a wide range of subjects in the lobby of the Best Western hotel in Gatineau across the river from the national capital in Ottawa in the shadow of Parliament Hill.  […]

Vancouver Rent Bank

Gatineau, Canada       There may have been snow on the ground and freezing temperatures, but the ACORN Canada staff’s spring planning and training meeting was in full bloom in Gatineau, Quebec, the sister city across the river from Ottawa, Ontario.  Several of the ACORN British Columbia organizers in their reports to start the sessions mentioned in […]

Uneven Results in North Carolina Indicate that New Nonprofit Hospital Rule Might Work

New Orleans   A combination of factors has curbed some, but not all, of the appetite for nonprofit hospitals’ frenzy of legal actions against lower income families in North Carolina, giving hope that the new Affordable Care Act restrictions against draconian collection practices might actually be effective.

We have been following closely whether or not nonprofit hospitals […]

Tax Preparers Refund Anticipation Loans are Out of Control – Again!

New Orleans         After years of campaigns by ACORN and agreements with the major tax preparers, H&R Block, Jackson-Hewitt, and Liberty Tax Services, to rein in the abuses and predatory pricing of “refund anticipation loans” or RALs, as they are known in the industry, it appears that the rats will play “while the cat is away.”  […]

Hospitals Cutting Costs by Helping the Poor

New Orleans       We’ve all heard the sayings before.  A stitch in time saves nine.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Now it seems that with some incentives being provided to hospitals through the Affordable Care Act, some of them are learning these old lessons, perhaps for the first time with feeling.

The […]