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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Taking the Predatory Lending Fight to D.C.

Posted By on Wed, Mar 21, 2007 at 5:29 PM

The East Side Organizing Project has long been known for sticking it to unscrupulous mortgage lenders in Cleveland, a.k.a. Predatory Lending Land. The non-profit has saved over 1,600 local families from foreclosure. And while Ohio politicians were cashing contributions from shady lenders like Ameriquest and Citifinancial, ESOP was wrangling them in, forcing them to sign away their predatory practices and fix their victims' loans. As this post hits C-Notes, Inez Killingsworth, ESOP's president, is testifying in Washington D.C. on the disastrous effects the sub-prime lending industry has had on Cleveland. ESOP was kind enough to send C-Notes part of Killingsworth's speech. Aside from the usual acronyms and grim statistics, Killingsworth is offering Congress this food for thought: "I can't walk down any street in my neighborhood without seeing a vacant, often un-boarded home. Many of these homes used to belong to my friends. I remember visiting them not that many years ago to celebrate the holidays or have a cook out during the summer. Today, those fond memories have been replaced by the stark reality that the lending industry ripped off my friends and me. As I peek inside some of these homes, I see the remnants of what was once a stable family. I can see where the kitchen sink used to be and remember helping Ms. McCoy wash the dishes there after a neighborhood cook out. Today, the sink has been ripped from the wall and sold for scrap." If this doesn't mobilize the suits in Washington, nothing will. — Denise Grollmus

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