Thursday, June 23, 2011

Town Hall Meeting, Film Screenings Offer Chance to Fight Back against Financial Predators


Town Hall Event with Elizabeth Warren just one week away
Please join us on Thursday June 30 at 6:30 pm at the Enoch Pratt Central Library in downtown Baltimore for a special Town Hall Meeting. Hosted by Rep. Elijah Cummings, the forum will feature White House Adviser and leading consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren speaking about “Fighting for America’s Working and Middle Class Families.” Here’s a link to a flyer about the event:
Professor Warren is the architect of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and a powerful voice for honest and transparent financial practices. She will explain how the new bureau will help consumers get the kind of clear and accurate information about mortgages, credit cards and other financial products that will protect us against predatory financial practices and why the enemies of financial reform are so determined to cripple the agency before it even starts its work. 
We’re proud and excited that MCRC Executive Director Marceline White will be one of just a handful of speakers to share the program with Professor Warren. 
Marceline will talk about the role the new CFPB can play in protecting Maryland consumers  and about our work to prevent abusive mortgage lenders, debt settlement companies,  contractors and other financial predators from ripping off Marylanders. 
MCRC  Film Screenings:
 “Stealing Trust: Marylanders Speak Out on Frauds, Scams and Financial Abuses”
For a powerful look at the devastating impact illegal foreclosures and other predatory financial practices have had on families and vulnerable consumers across Maryland, please also join us for one of the upcoming screenings of our new documentary film, “Stealing Trust.”
The film tells the poignant stories of Maryland families that have lost their homes, their life savings and even their capacity to trust others to mortgage lenders, debt settlement companies, and unscrupulous home contractors and explains how some consumers have successfully fought back.
Our next screenings will be:
  • Tuesday June 28 at 7 p.m. at Red Emma’s Bookstore, 800 St. Paul St., Baltimore MD. 
  • Monday July 11 at 6 p.m. at the Southeast Anchor Library, 3601 Eastern Ave., Baltimore MD.
“Stealing Trust” has been praised by film critic Michael Sragow on The Baltimore Sun’s film blog and featured in the City Paper’s Weekly Calendar.  WEAA-FM’s Marc Steiner Show featured the the film in its June 13 broadcast and Marc Steiner repeatedly urged listeners to check out our fine film. You can hear Marceline White and several of the consumers in the film discuss the project and their experiences with financial predators by clicking on the podcast of the show:
We will be scheduling additional film screenings around the state throughout the summer and fall. 
Please watch this space and our twitter and facebook posts for word about a screening near you.

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Call your Senators to support the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Less than one year after Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Wall St. reform and consumer protection law, the U.S. Senate is poised this week to consider two amendments to the Economic Development Revitalization Act (S. 782) that could deal a crippling blow to financial reform.  Concerned consumers need to tell our Senators that banking reform, and the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, need to be implemented not undermined.
An amendment sponsored by Kansas Rep. Sen. Jerry Moran would gut the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau before it even begins its work by eliminating its independent leadership and funding basis. It would replace the agency’s independent director with a six-member board dominated by many of the same regulatory agencies that failed to protect consumers during the recent financial crisis and  give the same Congress where many Republicans strongly oppose the very existence of the agency complete control of its funding.
The Dodd-Frank law carefully designed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to give it enough protection from political pressure from the financial services industry that it would be able to stand up for consumers while making it fully accountable to the president and the American people. The Moran amendment would destroy that balance. 
But South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint’s amendment goes even further: It would repeal the entire Wall St. Reform Act, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the derivatives trading reforms and other reforms Congress belatedly passed in 2010 to protect consumers from the kind of abuses that caused the devastating financial collapse of 2008.
Over the last four years, more than 10 million Americans have lost their homes to foreclosures. Almost 14 million people are officially unemployed today, and millions more have given up hope and stopped  looking for work. As the nation struggles to emerge from the hardest economic times in 70 years, we need strong protections against the kind of predatory financial practices that did so much to cause the crisis.
In May, the Republican majority in the House of Representatives passed three amendments that would badly weaken financial reform and the new CFPB. Now the Senate needs to stand up for U.S. consumers.
Please call Sen. Barbara Mikulski’s office at 202.224.4654 and Sen. Ben Cardin’s office at 202.224.4524 to tell Maryland’s Senators that they need to make Wall St. reform work and to defend the new agency whose job is to defend the interests of consumers. 

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Monday, June 13, 2011

Foreclosure news below and MCRC Film TOMORROW

MCRC Film Screening Event:
 “Stealing Trust: Marylanders Speak Out on Frauds, Scams and Financial Abuses”

The Huffington Post reports this morning that New York State’s Attorney General has launched a new probe of the mortgage security practices of banking giant Bank of America that calls into question the legality of thousands of foreclosures. This study is just part of a larger investigation about whether Wall St. and the banking industry followed the law in creating mortgage securities investigation that could lead to trillions of dollars in additional losses from the housing crisis that continues to devastate our economy.
Please join us tomorrow night to get a powerful look at the devastating impact illegal foreclosures and other predatory financial practices have had on families and vulnerable consumers across Maryland in the next screening of our documentary film, “Stealing Trust.”

The screening will be:
•    Tues. June 14 at 6:30 p.m. at the Enoch Pratt Central Library, 400 Cathedral St., Baltimore, MD.

The film tells the poignant stories of Maryland families that have lost their homes, their life savings and even their capacity to trust others to mortgage lenders, debt settlement companies, and unscrupulous home contractors and explains how some consumers have successfully fought back.

This afternoon you can hear MCRC Executive Director Marceline White and two of the consumers featured in the film discuss the film and talk about our work to protect Maryland consumers on the Marc Steiner Show on at 5 pm on WEAA-FM 88.9 in Baltimore. You can also listen on-line on WEAA’s web site @ http://www.weaa.org/
Please tune in and call the Steiner Show at 410-319-8888 to share your thoughts about what consumer protection issues are most important to you.

We’re excited by the very positive response the film won at our premiere event in May at Baltimore’s Creative Alliance. Sun film critic Michael Sragow has praised “crusading documentary” and compared it to the landmark film “American Casino” on his film blog:
We hope you’ll join us Tues. June 14 to see the film for yourself and to talk with MCRC leaders about what consumers and citizens across the state can do to fight back and to protect themselves against financial predators.

We will also be showing the film around the Baltimore area and across the state this Summer and Fall. Screening dates include:
•    June 28 at 7 p.m. at Red Emma’s Bookstore, 800 St. Paul St., Baltimore MD.
•    July 11 at 6 p.m. at the Southeast Anchor Library, 3601 Eastern Ave., Baltimore MD.

Please watch this space along with our website and our facebook and twitter pages for word about other screenings and a film event near you.

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Statistics underscore film's message-see it and learn what you can do

MCRC Film Screening Event:
“Stealing Trust: Marylanders Speak Out on Frauds, Scams and Financial Abuses”
The financial crisis that pushed this country into the hardest economic times in 70 years is far from over. USA Today reported last week that almost 4 million homes have been lost to foreclosures over the last five years.  More than 6,500 Maryland families lost their homes to foreclosures in the first four months of 2011 and Baltimore is one of 25 cities that has gone from majority homeownership to a majority of rental properties in the wake of the housing crisis. Across the country, almost 14 million people are officially unemployed and millions of others have given up looking for work. The Great Recession may officially be over but families across the country are still reeling from the crunch caused by predatory lending and the collapse of the financial bubble.
Please join us one week from tonight to get a powerful look at the devastating toll predatory financial practices have taken on families across Maryland in the next screening of our new documentary film, “Stealing Trust.”
The screening will take place:
  • June 14 at 6:30 p.m. at the Enoch Pratt Central Library, 400 Cathedral St., Baltimore, MD.
The film tells the poignant stories of Maryland families that have lost their homes, their life savings and even their capacity to trust others to mortgage lenders, debt settlement companies, and unscrupulous home contractors and shows how some consumers have successfully fought back.
We’re excited by the great response the film won at our premiere event in May at Baltimore’s Creative Alliance. Sun film critic Michael Sragow has praised “crusading documentary” and compared it to the landmark film “American Casino” on his film blog:
Join us Tues. June 14 to see for yourself what the buzz is about and to talk with MCRC leaders about what consumers and citizens across the state can do to fight back and to protect themselves against financial predators.
We will also be showing the film around the Baltimore area and across the state this Summer and Fall. Screening dates will include:
  • June 28 at 7 p.m. at Red Emma’s Bookstore, 800 St. Paul St., Baltimore MD. 
  • July 11 at 6 p.m. at the Southeast Anchor Library, 3601 Eastern Ave., Baltimore MD.
Please watch this space along with our website and our facebook and twitter pages for word about other screenings and a film event near you. 


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    Subscribe to MCRC blog updates via email; click here.