Policy Summit 2008

Our 6th annual Community Development Policy Summit was held June 11 and 12 at the Cleveland Marriott Downtown at Key Center.

This year’s forum explored a confluence of consumer finance issues in light of the mortgage lending crisis, including

  • Subprime borrowing
  • Unfair and deceptive lending practices
  • Financial education
  • Credit scores and their impact on the cost of credit
  • Reaching the unbanked.

Conference Presentations

Day One: Concurrent Session One

Day One: Concurrent Session Two

Day Two: Presentation

Day Two: Concurrent Session Three

Conference Agenda

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

11:00 AM

Registration

11:45 AM

Welcome & Luncheon

Ruth Clevenger, Vice President and Community Affairs Officer,
Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Cleveland, OH

12:15–12:45 PM

Introduction

Sandra Pianalto, President, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland
Cleveland, OH

Opening Address

Randall Kroszner, Member, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Washington, DC.
Governor Kroszner provides Congressional testimony and speaks regularly on consumer protection and community reinvestment issues. He will open the policy summit with his remarks on the consumer finance state of the nation.

12:45–1:00 PM

Break

1:00–2:15 PM

Panel

The Financial Landscape— Navigating an Ever-Changing Terrain

The mortgage lending crisis, tightening credit, and sluggish economic activity dominate the current financial landscape. How did this happen and what has been the impact on consumers? In this plenary session, presenters will explore the dynamics of this landscape and discuss emerging responses by government, industry, and regulatory agencies.

  • Moderator:
  • Ellen Seidman
  • Director, Financial Services and Education Projects, Building Program, New America Foundation, Washington, DC
  • Speakers:
  • Richard Cordray
  • Treasurer, State of Ohio, Columbus, OH
  • Robert Mooney
  • Deputy Director, Division of Supervision and Consumer Protection, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Washington, DC
  • Barry Wides
  • Deputy Comptroller for Community Affairs, Department of Community Development, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Washington, DC
  • Faith Schwartz
  • Executive Director, HOPE NOW, Washington, DC

2:15–2:30 PM

Break

2:30–3:45 PM

Concurrent Session I

Broadening the Reach of CRA

The mortgage lending marketplace has undergone a significant transformation since the time the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) was enacted in 1977. CRA-covered institutions are no longer the only organizations originating the bulk of credit in communities. This session will explore whether non-CRA-covered institutions — which have increased their market share significantly since 1977 yet are not subject to the requirements set forth in CRA — should be bound by the same requirements as covered institutions, especially given the challenges in today’s financial marketplace.

  • Moderator:
  • Ellen Seidman
  • New America Foundation,Washington, DC
  • Speakers:
  • Don Bianchi
  • Senior Policy Advocate, Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations, Boston, MA
  • Robert Detlefsen, PhD.
  • Vice President, Public Policy, National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, Indianapolis, IN
  • Alan Fisher
  • Executive Director, California Reinvestment Committee, San Francisco, CA
  • Joseph Pigg
  • Vice President and Senior Counsel of Housing Policy, American Bankers Association, Washington, DC
Effectiveness of Financial Education Efforts

The complexity of the financial services marketplace, coupled with low levels of financial literacy among diverse populations, seems to make the case for efficient and broad-reaching financial education programs that equip consumers with the tools needed to become better decision makers. However, challenges inherent in the design, implementation, and assessment of such programs may impact their effectiveness. And while financial education does not preclude the need for consumer protection regulation, some argue that providing such education creates the illusion of regulation without its costs. This panel will examine a large-scale program currently in place, discuss the general practices and effectiveness of financial education programs, and consider the policy implications of implementing — or not implementing — these programs.

  • Moderator:
  • Francisca Richter, Community Affairs Research Manager, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Cleveland, OH
  • Speakers:
  • Richard Cordray
  • Treasurer, State of Ohio, Columbus, OH
  • Jonathan Fox
  • Associate Professor, Department of Consumer Science, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
  • Luke Reynolds (PPT)
  • Chief, Outreach and Program Development Section, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Washington, D.C.
  • Lauren Willis (PPT)
  • Visiting Associate Professor, University of of Pennsylvania School of Law, Philadelphia, PA
Coping with Foreclosed Properties

Foreclosures hurt not only individual homeowners and families, but entire communities as well. What can communities do to get foreclosed properties back into circulation? Speakers will discuss issues relating to the acquisition, financing, management, rehabilitation, and marketing of foreclosed properties from the perspectives of public, private, and community-based sectors. They will also discuss legislation currently in Congress that aims to provide financial assistance for these efforts.

  • Moderator:
  • Buzz Roberts
  • Senior Vice President, LISC, Washington, DC
  • Speakers:
  • Mary Coffin (PPT )
  • Executive Vice President, Wells Fargo Mortgage Servicing, Des Moines, IA
  • Evelyn Friedman (PPT)
  • Chief of Housing and Director, Department of Neighborhood Development,  Boston, MA
  • Stephanie Gruver (PPT )
  • Special Projects Coordinator, Greater Metropolitan Housing Corporation Minneapolis, MN

3:45–4:00 PM

Break

4:00–5:15 PM

Concurrent Session II

Mounting Household Debt, Lending Practices, and Legislative and Regulatory Responses

Burdensome household debt will be a prominent feature of the unfolding economic and social environment. This session will challenge certain lending practices and explore current and anticipated legislative and regulatory responses.

  • Moderator:
  • Alan White
  • Associate Professor, Valparaiso University School of Law, Valparaiso, IN
  • Speakers:
  • Jose Garcia (PPT )
  • Senior Research and Policy Associate, DEMOS, New York, NY
  • Louise Gissendaner
  • Senior Vice President, Fifth Third Bank, Cleveland, OH
  • Adam Levitin (PPT )
  • Associate Professor, School of Law, Georgetown University, Washington, DC
Reaching Unbanked and Underbanked Consumers

Recent years have seen an enormous body of research on unbanked and underbanked consumers and a commensurate amount of innovation and experimentation in financial products and services aimed at meeting their needs and preferences. Panelists will discuss what we have we learned about these consumers, what practices effectively overcome the obstacles between them and mainstream financial institutions, and what partnerships can help them connect with banks.

  • Moderator:
  • Paul Ginger
  • Community Affairs Officer, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Chicago, IL
  • Speakers:
  • Leona Gleason (PPT)
  • Community Savings Center, Park National Bank, Oak Park, IL
  • Benjamin Keys (PPT)
  • PhD Candidate in Economics, Department of Economics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
  • Louisa Quittman (PPT)
  • Director of Community Programs, Office of Financial Education, Department of Treasury, Washington, DC
A New Approach to Financial Education: The Home Ownership Reality Game

(PPT)

In this highly interactive workshop, you will experience an innovative tool for homeownership counseling. The Home Ownership Reality Game helps homeowners understand the total cost of homeownership. Using the tools provided with the game, participants evaluate the systems in their home, develop routine maintenance plans, and develop budgets that include their monthly expenses and savings needed to support routine maintenance, emergency repairs, and the replacement cost of, say, a new roof. Feedback from potential homeowners who have used this tool has been highly positive.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

7:30–8:30 AM

Registration & Continental Breakfast

8:30–10:00 AM

Panel

How Do We Safely Reach the Other Side?

Panelists will discuss the types of financial policy reform needed to allow governments, regulators, industry, communities, and individuals to weather the mortgage lending crisis, tackle the fast-approaching household debt crisis early, and enhance consumer financial security.

  • Moderator:
  • Harry Boomer
  • Anchor/Reporter, 19 Action News/WOIO, Cleveland, OH
  • Speakers:
  • David Elam, Director, Housing Initiatives, Fannie Mae, Washington, DC
  • Ellen Harnick
  • Senior Policy Counsel, Center for Responsible Lending, Durham, NC
  • Glenn Gimble
  • Senior Project Manager, Supervision Policy, Office of Thrift Supervision, Washington, DC
  • Janneke Ratcliffe
  • Associate Director, Center for Community Capital, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC

10:00–10:15 AM

Break

10:15–10:45 AM

Credit Scoring and Access to Credit (PPT )

Economist Glenn Canner will highlight the findings of a Federal Reserve Board study, prepared for Congress, that examines the effects of credit scoring on the availability and affordability of credit to consumers generally and to specific demographic groups.

Glenn Canner, Senior Advisor, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System Washington, DC

10:45–11:00 AM

Break

11:00–12:15 PM

Concurrent Session III

Regulating the Growing Payday Lending Market

States increasingly are outlawing or restricting payday lending operations in order to reduce the negative impact of high-interest rate lending on consumers. However, these restrictions may have such unintended consequences on household finances as increased credit problems and higher penalties for bounced checks. This session will highlight states' efforts to regulate or prohibit payday lending and will identify their positive and negative consequences.

  • Moderator:
  • Joe Ott
  • Community Affairs Advisor, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Speakers:
  • Tom Allio
  • Executive Director, Ohio Coalition for Responsible Lending, Columbus, OH
  • Don Morgan (PPT)
  • Research Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, New York, NY
  • Keith Welks (PPT
  • Deputy State Treasurer for Fiscal Operations, Pennsylvania Treasury Department, Harrisburg, PA
Wealth Creation: Looking Beyond Homeownership

Over the past decades, home ownership has become synonymous with asset building and has been regarded as a path out of poverty, but in an ironic turn of events, it has recently had adverse economic consequences for many. In this session, panelists will share their views on whether suitability guidelines for homeownership should be adopted, and will discuss alternative asset-building strategies for wealth creation.

  • Moderator:
  • Edna Sawady
  • Consultant, Cleveland, OH
  • Speakers:
  • George Barany
  • Director of Financial Education, Consumer Federation of America, Cleveland, OH
  • Dr. Deborah Thorne
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Ohio University, Athens, OH
  • Kevin Jordan
  • Director of Family Income and Wealth Building, LISC, Washington, DC
  • May Xiong
  • Manager, East Side Financial Center, St. Paul, MN
Innovative Approaches to Mortgage Lending and Credit Building

The steep rise in foreclosures and the consequent tightening of credit standards have created a new business environment for lenders and a new set of challenges for borrowers. In the wake of the foreclosure crisis, the policy and regulatory framework for residential mortgages will undergo changes. Beyond the tightening of credit, how will the markets respond to these changes? Will financial innovation yield new products and services that are appropriate for the credit profile of low- and moderate-income borrowers and also mitigate risk in credit and capital markets? Panelists will provide a policy perspective and address current innovations—including in the nonprofit sector—aimed at addressing these challenges.

  • Moderator:
  • Lou Tisler
  • Executive Director, Neighborhood Housing Services of Cleveland, Cleveland, OH
  • Speakers:
  • Brian Cosgrove (PPT1)  (PPT2)
  • President, Just Price Solutions, Pasadena, CA
  • Michael Nathans (PPT)
  • Chairman and CEO, Pay Rent, Build Credit, Inc., Annapolis, MD
  • Patrick Walker (PPT)
  • Economic Analyst, PERC/Information Policy Institute, Chapel Hill, NC

12:30–1:10 PM

Lunch

1:10–2:00 PM

Closing Keynote Address

Kelvin Boston, Executive Producer and Host, PBS “Moneywise” Boston, MA.

Distinguished financial journalist and best-selling author Kelvin Boston believes that financial education is the key to financial success. Mr. Boston, executive producer and host of “Moneywise with Kelvin Boston,” a PBS television series, has also authored Smart Money Moves for African Americans and Who’s Afraid to be a Millionaire? He has been recognized for his work on behalf of consumers and received the National Community Reinvestment Coalition's 2003 award for promoting economic justice.  In addition, Mr. Boston serves on the FDIC's Advisory Committee on Economic Inclusion. His remarks will focus on the importance of overcoming barriers to financial literacy en route to achieving—and helping others achieve—financial freedom.

2:00 PM

Closing Remarks

Ruth Clevenger, Vice President and Community Affairs Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland Cleveland, OH