Predatory Lending

Time for the Feds to Step In: Illegal and Abusive Debt Collection Threatens to Exacerbate Racial Inequality

Time for the Feds to Step In: Illegal and Abusive Debt Collection Threatens to Exacerbate Racial Inequality

By Nusrat Choudhury, Staff Attorney, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 12:12pm
In 2012, a pregnant woman in Colorado was arrested and jailed after being pulled over for a traffic violation. The reason? A debt collector went to court for a warrant for her arrest—not because she committed any crime, but because she apparently had not answered written questions in a proceeding to collect unpaid credit card debt. Her bond was set at $5,806—an exorbitant sum that just so happened to be the full amount of the debt she owed plus interest. Unable to pay, the woman spent a night in jail in yet another modern twist on the banned practice of debtors' prisons.
Civil Rights Today: The Landmark Case of Adkins et. al. v. Morgan Stanley

Civil Rights Today: The Landmark Case of Adkins et. al. v. Morgan Stanley

On Monday, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against Morgan Stanley in what may become the most important civil rights case in a generation.  If successful, the implications of this suit are profound and the impact could be staggering, both in addressing the damages suffered by devastated communities as a result of predatory lending triggering the foreclosure crisis and the symbolic importance of framing these damages as civil rights violations.

The Promise and Hope of Detroit

The Promise and Hope of Detroit

By Dennis Parker, Director, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 11:19am

"Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world", as Percy Bysshe Shelley put it. I was reminded of this power that poetry has to illuminate social and political realities while reading Jamaal May's "There are Birds Here." May was born and raised…

The Fierce Urgency of Now: Honoring Dr. King by Working for Economic Justice

The Fierce Urgency of Now: Honoring Dr. King by Working for Economic Justice

By Rachel Goodman, Staff Attorney, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 11:55am

This week, as we celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, you’ll hear a lot, as we usually do, about the heroic work he did to move America past the era of state-enforced racial segregation.  Mainly, we remember Dr. King as a prophet of…

Predatory Lending: Wall Street Profited, Minority Families Paid the Price

By Larry Schwartztol, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 4:35pm

The editorial page of the New York Times recently weighed in on an important but underappreciated aspect of the financial crisis: The systematic targeting of communities of color for risky and unfair loans. As the Times put it:

Pricing discrimination…
An important step towards holding Wall Street accountable

An important step towards holding Wall Street accountable

By Dennis Parker, Director, ACLU Racial Justice Program & Larry Schwartztol, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 5:14pm

In a historic ruling, today a judge gave us the green light to move forward with a case alleging that Morgan Stanley discriminated against black homeowners in the Detroit area in violation of the Fair Housing Act ("FHA").

"Morgan Stanley—as…

When a Dream House Becomes a Nightmare

When a Dream House Becomes a Nightmare

By Tyler Ray, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:30am

For years, Rita Winters envisioned spending her golden years of retirement at her dream house in Southern Maryland.  However, as a result of events outside of Rita’s control, her dream home placed her in a nightmare situation. Federal action…

Holding Wall Street Accountable: ACLU Sues Morgan Stanley for Discriminatory Practices

Holding Wall Street Accountable: ACLU Sues Morgan Stanley for Discriminatory Practices

By Dennis Parker, Director, ACLU Racial Justice Program & Larry Schwartztol, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 11:18am

The economic crisis of 2008, which was devastating for the nation’s economy as a whole, was nothing short of disastrous for communities of color. Much of the decades of progress toward full inclusion in the American dream which was ushered…

Sen. Kerry and Rep. Nadler Introduce Housing Non-Discrimination Legislation

By Ian S. Thompson, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:33am

This morning, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) introduced the Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME) Act in the Senate and House. This legislation would, among other things, amend both the Fair Housing Act and the Equal…

The Economic Crisis Isn't Colorblind

By Dennis Parker, Director, ACLU Racial Justice Program & Larry Schwartztol, ACLU Racial Justice Program at 9:51am

As the presidential election season heats up, the candidates will clash over how the country should climb back from the 2008 economic slump.

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