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by David Swanson
Sunday, Sep. 09, 2001 at 1:31 PM
AcornNews@Acorn.org 202-547-2500 739 8th Street SE, Washington, DC
The state Leg will vote this week on a bill to ban predatory lending -- abusive mortgage lending that devastates low-income families and neighborhoods. Many Assembly Members' votes are undecided.
The California Legislature is currently considering a bill, AB 489, to protect consumers from some of the most extreme practices known as predatory lending. On Sept. 6, Governor Davis announced his support of the bill and his concern over the damage being done by unscrupulous mortgage lenders offering unfair and abusive terms to vulnerable borrowers.
"Americans lose .1 billion each year due to predatory lending practices," Governor Davis said.
North Carolina passed legislation banning predatory practices in 1999, and since then New York, Massachusetts, and Illinois have enacted regulations moving in that direction. Oakland is currently in the final stages of approving its own local ordinance against predatory lending.
AB 489 has been promoted by Senators John Burton and Mike Machado, and Assemblywoman Carole Migden, as well as by the Speaker of the Senate. The national grassroots group ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) has done extensive work building support for the bill and negotiating to bring it to its current form. The bill is also backed by the AARP, the California Reinvestment Committee, the Congress of California Seniors, and the Consumers Union.
The bill is a significant compromise from what some of these consumer groups believe is needed, and some lending industry organizations have dropped their opposition to it.
With the Governor promising to sign the bill, and the Senate expected to pass it, growing momentum and national attention may be enough to push it through the General Assembly. But supporters of the bill say it is by no means guaranteed.
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