Category: Personal Finance

Securities in MO: “The fox is guarding the henhouse”

Jay Ashcroft, Missouri’s new secretary of state, has named a former executive of a company under investigation by the state to lead the agency that protects consumers from securities fraud.

“The fox is guarding the henhouse,” said Rep. Tracy McCreery, a St. Louis County Democrat who sits on the board of the Consumers Council of Missouri. “And that should be alarming.”

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Final Push for Strong Rule

CCM joins national consumers and civil rights organizations to make final push for a strong CFPB rule strengthening payday and car title lending rule

National Consumer and Civil Rights Organizations Make Final Push Urging CFPB to Strengthen Payday and Car Title Lending Rule

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Big WIN for MO consumers!

Regulators disallowing utility payments at payday loan stations.

Allowing monopoly companies to use payday loan stations gives legitimacy to predatory business and facilitates the use of high interest loads to pay for necessary services.

Its vitally important to have consumer groups who are willing to advocate for and push for policies that protect citizens from predatory businesses. Support Consumers Council of Missouri along with AARP Missouri, Empower Missouri and other advocates who fight for what’s right.

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SLCCU opens in South St. Louis

St. Louis Community Credit Union is opening a South City branch in Benton Park West. SLCCU is working to combat payday lending and check cashing, to put mainstream banking in the hands of people who are otherwise underserved by traditional financial institutions.

St. Louis Community Credit Union Building New Branch in Benton Park West

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Path to Financial Independence

Financial independence and an escape from high-interest payday loans: Prosperity Connection provides a path

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MO Senators: Stand With Us

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, CFBP, made history right here in Missouri on June 2 by proposing a new rule aimed at ending payday lending debt traps by requiring lenders to take steps to make sure consumers have the ability to repay their loans. While this rule is a good first step, it does not go far enough. We need MO Senators to stand up for strong rules.

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Race continues to be a factor in St. Louis area mortgage lending

A report released by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition found that the racial composition of St. Louis neighborhoods is a defining trait for the probability of receiving a mortgage loan. Its report also examines how the lack of banking institutions in predominantly black neighborhoods perpetuates the problem.

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Payday Lending gets tough in STL

STL Aldermen are considering some of the toughest municipal laws in the country on Payday Lending. You can show your support for this legislation by attending the committee hearing tomorrow at 10am.

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CCM Decries Payday Lender Re-opening Quickly on West Florissant after Turmoil

KMOX Radio, July 1, 2015

While many businesses in Ferguson have still not re-opened, Pay Day Loans  was quick to open their doors. They have three locations along West Florissant.

Jacqueline Hutchinson is Board Chair for Missouri Consumers Council and says that this is typical from predators.

“We know that the rates for Pay Day Loans can be as much as 1,400 percent as compared to if you borrowed the money from a bank,” says Hutchinson.

She says that there needs to be legislation passed in Missouri to put a cap on interest rates  that a lender could charge. She adds that the military has capped at 36 percent the amount that a Pay Day lender can charge.

Hutchinson’s organization  works with banks and credit unions to help people in need of a loan with a reasonable interest rate that they can obtain.

If you are interested in more information on lending institutions, visit

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Justice Department Settles Case about Red Lining with Eagle Bank & Trust Co.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 29, 2015

WASHINGTON • The U.S. Department of Justice announced Tuesday it has reached a settlement with Eagle Bank & Trust Company of Missouri resolving allegations of lending discrimination in St. Louis.

Mike Walsh, the bank’s president and CEO, said Eagle disagreed with the government’s allegations but agreed to the settlement to “put the best interests of the people we serve above any desire to continue discussions in the hopes of reaching a different outcome.”

The “consent decree,” which requires the approval of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, requires the bank, which has 12 locations in the St. Louis region, to open two new locations to serve predominantly African American neighborhoods in “northern St. Louis,” the Justice Department announcement said.

The bank also will set aside at least $975,000 for “banking and borrowing activities” to residents and businesses in those neighborhoods.

The agreement came after allegations that the bank had engaged in “redlining,” the practice of denying or avoiding providing credit services to consumers in neighborhoods based on those neighborhoods’ demographic makeup, according to the Justice Department statement.

The Justice Department complaint alleged violations in the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, laws that prohibit banks from discriminating in mortgage practices based on race.

“The Department of Justice is committed to holding banks accountable for their role in continuing historic trends of residential segregation,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Civil Rights Division, in a statement explaining the action.

“The practice of redlining violates our laws and harms our communities. We commend Eagle Bank for becoming part of the positive change that must come to the African American neighborhoods in St. Louis. The community partnerships and lending programs that are part of our settlement will bring much-needed investment to communities in northern St. Louis.”

The suit emanated from information passed on by the Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing Opportunities Council, a fair-lending advocacy group, and provided to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The FDIC investigated and referred the information to the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

In 2013, the bank received a “needs to improve” rating from the FDIC on its Community Reinvestment Act evaluation. That act was passed in 1977 to combat redlining.

In a statement, Walsh said that the bank and Justice Department had been in discussions for two years.

“Eagle Bank firmly believes in fair lending practices, as they make us stronger as a bank and help create even stronger communities,” Walsh said. “Throughout the past 100 years, Eagle Bank has been a community partner and engaged corporate citizen in St. Louis. For the past 30 years, we have been repeatedly recognized for our commitment to community engagement and improvement.”

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