Posted on February 25, 2008
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Predatory lending, defined as “the practice of a lender deceptively convincing borrowers to agree to unfair and abusive loan terms, or systematically violating those terms in ways that make it difficult for the borrower to defend against” is a rapidly growing problem in America, and is of particular concern as its victims are disproportionately minorities, the elderly, and female-headed households.
Practices such as charging excessive fees, the imposition of abusive prepayment penalties, the promotion and sale of unnecessary products, and the steering of borrowers toward sub-prime loans when they are in fact eligible for traditional loans, are contrary to the best interests of the borrowers and have led to a financial crisis which impacts all Americans.
The JCPA calls for efforts to educate our community members about the dangers of predatory lending; calls for passage of legislation to address the immediate home foreclosure crisis and the underlying concerns around predatory lending; urges Jewish community members to reach out to partners in their communities to address this issue; urges community members with the appropriate skills to offer pro bono assistance to victims of predatory lending who cannot afford legal counsel.