Minnesotans for a Fair Economy

Recent Articles

Redlining targets Black Minnesotans and neighborhoods

Wells Fargo leads pack according to U of M report on sub-prime lenders

By Charles Hallman
Staff Writer


A new University of Minnesota Law School study shows that Blacks and other communities of color and low-income residents in the Twin Cities still lack access to credit. It is an update of a 2009 study that found that Blacks and Latinos — even with “very high income[s] — were much more likely to get sub-prime loans than very low-income White applicants.”

“It’s hard to believe that systemically a Black family that is making $157,000 a year is less likely to qualify for a prime loan than a White family that earns 40 [thousand a year],” noted Myron Orfield, the director of the Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity, which is housed at the U of M Law School. The report also shows that Blacks and other people of color who live in two North Minneapolis neighborhoods had the highest number of sub-prime loans compared to Whites in the same neighborhoods: 59 percent for people of color compared to 42 percent Whites in Near North; and 55 percent for people of color in Camden compared to 29 percent for Whites. These two areas also “were most dramatically affected” among Twin Cities neighborhoods. “Our report [reveals] discrimination in lending against individuals on the basis of race, and also discrimination in lending against neighborhoods on the basis of race,” noted Orfield, who heads the U of M Law School’s

Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity (IMO). Continue Reading →

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Payday lending called exploitation



By Dwight Hobbes

Contributing Writer


Minnesota watchdogs are barking about what they assert to be “predatory” payday lending. A payday loan is a small, short-term, loan secured against a customer’s next paycheck. Upwards of 250 groups are accusing the banking system of exploitation, claiming U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo and other institutions are exploiting this tough economic climate to gouge people struggling to get by, profiting from excessive fees on these payday loans. Lutheran Social Services, Minnesotans for a Fair Economy, SEIU Local 26, ISAIAH (Faith In Democracy), and TakeAction Minnesota are among the national, state and local organizations demanding bank regulators step in and stop banks from racking up loans yielding annual interest rates near 400 percent. The collective presented a letter to Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, during a Town Hall Event at the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College in New York City on February 22. Continue Reading →

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