Banks Shirking Responsibility for Foreclosed Property Maintenance

New Orleans  I woke up to headlines indicating that the National Fair Housing Alliance has accused Minneapolis-based U.S. Bank of effectively “red lining” blight into largely African-American and Latino neighborhoods in 35 different cities in 15 metropolitan areas.  Recently the alliance added New Orleans, Dallas, New Haven, and Hampton Roads, Virginia to an amended complaint [...]

Bank Mortgage and Foreclosure Problems Won’t Go Away

New Orleans  No matter how many billions banks pay to try to whitewash their devastatingly destructive behavior in milking home owner mortgages and turning homeowners every way but loose, they can’t make the mess go away.  The stains and scandals are indelible and their refusal to change their culture or their standard operating practices guarantees [...]

Credit Card Act Shows a Win for Disclosures to Consumers

New Orleans  I have to confess I have often been skeptical of programs claiming to protect consumers that trumpet transparency as a major feature of the reform.  I can show the scars still from negotiations with predatory lenders and tax preparation companies, who would easily agree to full disclosure of their effective interest rates and [...]

Banks Charging through Loopholes to Rip Off the Poor!

New Orleans   Every time we think we might be surprised at the avarice of major financial institutions, we are reminded that in the real world, there are no limits either to greed or the willingness for banks to rip off anyone available including preying on desperate, poor families.   More sickening evidence was available in a [...]

Chinese Banks, Student Loans, Foreclosures, and Political Impasse

Wen Jiabao

New Orleans   Are you kidding me?  The Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao called for breaking up the banks because they are making too much money and charging too much interest.  It turned out he was actually calling for breaking up banks in China, rather than elsewhere, but how refreshing to have a head of [...]

Fire in the Mercado, Usury at Los Bancos

Tegucigalpa    Within minutes of hitting central Tegucigalpa we were on our way to a series of markets directly across the picturesque but fetid river running alongside the capitol not far from the original palace.  ACORN Honduras in Tegucigalpa had been working with stall vendors over the last month who had asked for help after a sudden [...]