SAVE OUR COMMUNITIES


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Posted by David on June 16, 1999 at 16:39:18:

NAACP, Urban League Need Your Help to Fight Bank Discrimination!

Before 1977, banks routinely denied loans to minorities and others who
lived in poor neighborhoods. Because of this "red-lining" -- the
process of denying people access to services or charging them different
rates based on where they live -- some people found it impossible to get loans,
even from banks where they had accounts!

To combat this widespread lending discrimination, Congress
passed the federal Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). The CRA requires
banks to invest in the communities in which they do business by
providing loans to people who live in those neighborhoods. If a bank
fails to meet the credit needs of its community, the government can deny
that bank permission to expand its business or merge with another
financial institution.

Since its enactment, the CRA has been incredibly successful in building
stronger communities. Between 1993 and 1997, the number of home
mortgage loans extended to African Americans increased by 62 percent,
Hispanics by 58 percent, Asian Americans by 25 percent, Native Americans
by 25 percent and low- and moderate-income borrowers by 38 percent.
According to the Small Business Administration, loans to African
American and Hispanic-owned firms increased by 154 percent and 144
percent, respectively, between 1992 and 1997.

Unfortunately, some members of Congress want to go back to the days
when banks were free to discriminate against people because of where
they lived. A bill that is supposed to modernize the financial services
industry -- "The Financial Services Modernization
Act of 1999" -- contains provisions that would drastically weaken
the Community Reinvestment Act.

The fate of the CRA will be decided before the July 4th Congressional recess.
It's time to take action! Don't let Congress turn back the clock
to the days of banking discrimination! Tell your members of
Congress to oppose any effort to weaken the Community
Reinvestment Act by sending a letter from the CivilRights.org web site at

http://www.civilrights.org/cra



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