Public Comments

Groups from across New York City urged Comptroller Stringer to immediately and permanently divest New York City’s pension funds from payday lending companies – whose loans are categorically illegal in New York. City pension funds invested more than $20 million in payday lending and high-cost installment lending companies in 2016. Additionally, City pension funds invested nearly $160 million in Lone Star Fund VIII, a private equity fund that owns DFC Global, Inc.,i which, in turn, owns several payday lenders, including Money Mart and The Check Cashing Store.

In our testimony, we outline important changes to Intro. 1269 that are needed before it moves forward. We also are pleased to highlight the rapidly-expanding landscape of community land trusts in our city and additional policy recommendations by our alliance. We understand that Intro 1269 is a first step toward strong local policymaking to advance CLTs, and we look forward to continued dialogue with the Council.

Today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued federal regulations to protect people from the abusive payday lending industry. New Economy Project is a member of the “PaydayFreeLandia” Coalition – a group of civil rights, labor, faith-based and community organizations from the 15 states where predatory payday lending is illegal. The coalition issued a statement responding to the CFPB’s long-awaited regulations.

New Economy Project submitted comments to the NYC Commission on Human Rights regarding its proposed rules implementing the Stop Credit Discrimination in Employment Act (SCDEA) of 2015. Our organization spearheaded the community-labor-civil rights coalition that successfully pressed NYC to ban employment credit checks, as a matter of racial and economic justice, and we applaud the Commission for its work to enforce SCDEA and eliminate discriminatory barriers to employment in our city.

New Economy Project joined hundreds of groups from across the country to support the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s ban on mandatory arbitration clauses. The rule will restore people’s ability to band together in court to pursue claims, is a significant step forward in the ongoing fight to curb predatory practices in consumer financial products and services.

For years, car insurance companies have systematically discriminated against New Yorkers of color, lower-income New Yorkers, immigrants, and women, overcharging them for car insurance on the basis of non-driving-related factors, including their occupations and education levels. New Economy Project urges the NYS Department of Financial Services to issue a strong final rule that bans this unfair and discriminatory practice.

New Economy Project opposes the proposed bill, which fails to adequately protect workers from unfair fees and other abusive payroll card practices. Indeed, the bill would directly undercut NYS Department of Labor’s (DOL) strong payroll card regulations, adopted last year, which community, labor, consumer, and civil rights groups across the state have enthusiastically supported.

The undersigned elected officials and organizations call on you as members of the New York City Banking Commission to remove Wells Fargo Bank from the City’s list of designated banks. As you may know, Wells Fargo’s federal regulator, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), recently downgraded the bank’s CRA rating to “Needs to Improve,” citing “an extensive and pervasive pattern” of discriminatory and illegal lending practices.