Anti-predatory lending advice in Spanish

Consumer Action helps Americans for Fairness in Lending target Spanish-speakers

Contact: For Spanish or English speaking interviews, contact: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) (608) 217-7386, or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), (213) 624-4631. For AFFIL [English only]: Geoffrey Knox: 212-229-0540

Source: AFFIL

Americans for Fairness in Lending (AFFIL) announced today that it has launched a new Spanish-language website [http://www.affil.org/es] to help counter predatory lending practices that target Spanish speakers in America. AFFIL’s interactive website serves as a resource for consumers to help them understand the traps of predatory lending and offers a range of online debt-relief tools.

Click here to download a PDF of this press release in Spanish.

Research has found enormous racial and ethnic disparities in high-cost lending by banks, credit card companies, and auto financiers. Latinos who are in need of access to affordable credit are often at risk of being harmed by abusive lending products:

  • In Boston in 2005, 56.2% of Latino highest income borrowers (over $152,000 income per year) received high APR loans for their home purchases, versus 9.4% of their white counterparts.
  • For used car loans, 18.5% of Hispanic borrowers in 2004 paid at interest rates of 15% or more, compared with only 9.2% of white borrowers who paid at those rates.
  • In Illinois, payday lending is far more prevalent in zip codes with higher concentrations of Hispanics than in zip codes that are mostly white.
  • 77% of Latino consumers carry a balance on their credit cards compared to 45% for all American households.

AFFIL, a partnership of consumer, civil rights, faith-based, non-partisan and grassroots organizations, is dedicated to exposing widespread predatory lending practices, providing information to help consumers fight back, educating policymakers about the need for reform, and demanding action to assist debt-burdened Americans. AFFIL partners and allies who are committed to creating and disseminating such Spanish-language resources for Latino audiences include Consumer Action, whose staff provided translation services, and the National Council of La Raza.

The AFFIL Spanish-language website includes, among other items, the following:

Consumer Action staff translated this AFFIL ad for Sports Illustrated Latino.

“We are pleased to add these new resources for Latinos to help them fight back against abusive lending practices across the country,” stated Jim Campen, executive director of Americans for Fairness in Lending. “My own research has revealed enormous racial disparities in mortgage lending in Greater Boston where Latinos—and their neighborhoods— receive a much higher share of higher cost loans than whites. We need comprehensive anti-predatory lending legislation to protect all consumers from unfair practices and promote the building of assets by all households and communities.”

“The lending industry has been flooding the market with toxic products and more and more Latinos are being targeted by unscrupulous lending that burdens them with unmanageable debt,” said Sol Carbonell, Associate, National Priorities, Consumer Action. “Latinos need the kind of information that is now available on AFFIL’s website and our own site to help them understand the tricks and traps of abusive practices. But what Latinos and all American consumer need most is for our elected officials to take action and stop predatory lending.”

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For Spanish or English speaking interviews, contact: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) (608) 217-7386, or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), (213) 624-4631. For AFFIL [English only]: Geoffrey Knox: 212-229-0540

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Americans for Fairness in Lending (AFFIL), is a non-profit organization working to end predatory lending practices, provide information to help consumers, educate policymakers about the need for reform, and demand action to assist debt-burdened Americans. AFFIL was created through a partnership of national consumer, civil rights, faith-based, non-partisan and grassroots organizations, including ACORN, Consumer Action, Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, National Consumer Law Center, National Council of La Raza, and U.S. PIRG, among others. AFFIL’s goal is to establish fair lending principles and practices that will build and preserve individual and community assets.

Consumer Action (www.consumer-action.org) is a national non-profit consumer education and advocacy organization founded in San Francisco in 1971. The organization’s hallmark is its free multilingual consumer education materials distributed through a national network of 10,000-plus non-profit and community-based agencies. In addition Consumer Action serves consumers and its members nationwide by advancing consumer rights, referring consumers to complaint-handling agencies and training community group staff on the effective use of its educational materials. Each year, Consumer Action distributes more than 2 million pieces of its free consumer education materials through these groups. Consumer Action also advocates for consumers in the media and before lawmakers and compares prices on credit cards, bank accounts and long distance services. Its newsletter, Consumer Action News, is published several times a year and contains articles of general interest to consumers as well as news of the organization. All Consumer Action publications are available on its free web site (www.consumer-action.org).

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