The Leadership Conference is working diligently to see that Tom Perez is confirmed as U.S. Secretary of Labor. Perez is an eminently qualified public servant and consensus builder who has dedicated his career to ensuring that all individuals are treated fairly and have the opportunity to succeed. He has served with integrity and distinction at the local, state and national level, compiling an outstanding record of achievement.
Housing & Lending
Shelter is a basic human need - and homeownership is a basic key to financial viability. Some of the civil rights issues we look at here are predatory lending, fair housing laws, and homelessness.
February 26, 2010 - Posted by The Leadership Conference
African-American farmers who experienced discrimination by the Department of Agriculture (USDA) may finally receive compensation.
February 24, 2010 - Posted by Beth Sadler
Credit card companies have responded to the passage of the Credit CARD Act by creating new ways to get around the law and exploit consumers.
February 18, 2010 - Posted by Beth Sadler
Beginning Monday, the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act will go into effect, reforming the rules regarding credit cards and interest rates for millions of Americans. The goal of the new regulations is to protect consumers from abusive and exploitative practices by credit card companies.
January 22, 2010 - Posted by Tyler Lewis
President Obama appears to be ramping up his efforts to make substantial reforms to the financial industry largely responsible for the current economic crisis.
Large banks had to be bailed out by the federal government following the collapse of the economy in the fall of 2008 – a move that was very unpopular. In response to widespread anger at the bailouts, exacerbated by the lavish bonuses that bailed-out banks are paying their employees, Obama announced yesterday that he wanted to limit how big banks can get to prevent them from becoming "too big to fail."
January 20, 2010 - Posted by The Leadership Conference
Responding to the severe housing and credit crisis in the United States, Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez recently announced the creation of a fair lending unit within the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. Perez, who leads the division, identified "lending discrimination" as particularly destructive, stating that "it's discrimination with a smile, and it tears communities apart."
January 14, 2010 - Posted by Beth Sadler
In a landmark settlement announced this week, the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) and its member organizations reached an agreement with A.G. Spanos Companies to increase housing accessibility for people with disabilities. It is the largest fair housing settlement relating to people with disabilities to date, according to NFHA.
December 22, 2009 - Posted by Tyler Lewis
Recent data analyzed by New America Media show that Small Business Administration loans made to struggling businesses as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act are not going to minority-owned businesses.
The America's Recovery Capital (ARC) Loan Program provides loans of up to $35,000 to help small businesses make it through the recession. Of the nearly 4,500 loans handed out this year, 3 percent went to Hispanic-owned businesses, 3 percent went to Asian- or Pacific Islander-owned businesses, and only 1.5 percent went to Black-owned businesses.
December 8, 2009 - Posted by Tyler Lewis
UPDATE: The House passed the financial reform legislation on December 11.
The House of Representatives is expected to vote this week on financial reform legislation that will address many of the practices and policies that contributed to the recent foreclosure crisis and the current recession.
A critical provision of the legislation will create a new federal agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Agency, which will be responsible for the enforcement of most financial consumer protection laws designed to curb abuse, deception, and discrimination. The new agency will have oversight over mortgages and many other consumer financial services and products, such as credit cards, checking and savings accounts, credit reports/scores, payday loans, residential leases, and wire transfers.
December 1, 2009 - Posted by The Leadership Conference
The Treasury Department unveiled a new plan yesterday seeking to make a $75 billion federal program to help struggling homeowners more effective.
To date, more than 650,000 mortgage holders have been granted temporary modifications on their mortgage loans under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). But as of September 1, only 1,711 mortgage modifications had been made permanent.
The latest plan will encourage lenders to make more of those modifications permanent.
"We are taking additional steps to enhance servicer transparency and accountability as part of a broader focus on maximizing conversion rates to permanent modifications," said Treasury spokeswoman Meg Reilly.
November 19, 2009 - Posted by The Leadership Conference
Yesterday, a federal judge ruled in favor of Hurricane Katrina victims who claimed much of the worst flood damage was a result of negligence by the Army Corps of Engineers, an important victory for many of those impacted by the storm. The case was the first to find the government responsible for damages from the storm.
Lawyers representing the victims argued that the Army Corps not only failed to properly maintain the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet, a navigation canal that connects New Orleans' inner harbor with the Gulf of Mexico, but actually made matters worse with what actions it did take. In particular, they argued that the Army Corps' actions were responsible for killing off marshes, eroding the banks, and doubling the channel width, all of which provided a way for the waters from Katrina to flood the city.
The court's ruling may have a significant impact on many people impacted by the storm. Eighty thousand people lived in the area covered by the ruling, many of whom may be able to join a class action lawsuit based upon the verdict. The Army Corps has estimated that such cases could lead to up to $500 billion in damages being awarded to people who lost their homes in the storm.
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