Indiana Assets & Opportunity Network
Increasing Asset Acquisition for Low-Wealth Hoosiers

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Hoosiers Not Saving Enough for Retirement

Are you saving enough for retirement? Many of us believe we are but, unfortunately, statistics show that’s just not the case here in Indiana.

According to a National Financial Capability Study, research participants were asked five questions covering aspects of economics and finance encountered in everyday life. Only 35 percent of Hoosiers (and 37 percent of U.S. adults) could correctly answer 4 or 5 out of 5.

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Logan Charlesworth
CFPB Payday Rule Survives Legislative Threat, Remains Intact For Now

Wednesday was a victorious day for consumer advocates across the country. It marked the last day for lawmakers to act to repeal the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s payday rule, and the deadline passed without Congress voting to repeal the rule. Resolutions to repeal the rule were introduced in both the House and Senate, but failed to garner sufficient support.

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Kathleen Taylor
CFPB Announces Intent to End Public Access to Complaint Database

According to a new report from the Wall Street Journal, Mick Mulvaney, acting Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, announced his intent to end public access to the Bureau’s complaint database. Consumers use the database to file complaints against financial companies, and the CFPB publishes these complaints for public use. “I don’t see anything in here that says I have to run a Yelp for financial services sponsored by the federal government,” Mulvaney said.

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Kathleen Taylor
How Well Does Indiana Protect Consumers from Unfair and Deceptive Business Practices?

INDIANAPOLIS– State Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices (UDAP) laws prohibit deceptive practices in consumer transactions, such as sales of cars and other goods, loans, home improvements, utility contracts, and mortgage transactions. A new report from the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) finds that while a strength of Indiana’s UDAP statute is that it has broad prohibitions of deceptive and unconscionable acts, the statute has a number of weaknesses.

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Kathleen Taylor
Applying the success of 'promotores de salud' to personal finance

During the 1960s, an alternative model for delivering health education to "hard-to-reach populations, traditionally excluded racial/ethnic groups, and other ... underserved communities" was gathering steam. The "instructors" of health education were called promotores de salud ("promoters of health"). Rather than being health care professionals, promotores were lay community members who received specialized training to provide basic health education. The practice was, and remains, especially popular in Latino communities where citizenship, language, and familiarity with the health care system are common barriers to accessing care. The core objective of the promotora is to educate target audiences about health issues affecting their community and provide guidance in accessing health care resources. 

The application of the promotora model from a health care application to a financial literacy application shows promise as an alternative model to deploy financial education to these same "hard-to-reach populations, traditionally excluded racial/ethnic groups, and other ... underserved communities."

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Kathleen Taylor
2015 Indiana College Readiness Report

The Indiana College Readiness Report released by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education shows tracks the status of Indiana High School students. Indicators include number of students who took the AP test, earned duel credit from an Indiana public college, Socioeconomic status, and more. 

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Logan Charlesworth
Economic growth? Nation- and statewide only some are reaping the benefits

Tuesday, February 6 marked the release of the 2018 Prosperity Now Scorecard. Issued annually, the Scorecard is a comprehensive resource for data on household financial health and policy recommendations to help put everyone in our country on a path towards prosperity. It ranks all 50 states and the District of Columbia across five issue areas: Financial Assets & Income, Businesses & Jobs, Homeownership & Housing, Health Care, and Education. The Scorecard also separately assesses states on the strength of policies to expand economic opportunity. The Scorecard is accompanied by a main findings report titled “Whose Bad Choices? How Policy Precludes Prosperity and What We Can Do About It?”

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Kathleen Taylor
Indiana Assets & Opportunity Network Statement on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's Payday Rule Reconsideration

On Tuesday, January 16, the effective date of the “Payday, Vehicle Title, and Certain High-Cost Installment Loans” rule, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a statement, indicating it would engage in a rule-making process to reconsider its Payday Rule. The Indiana Assets & Opportunities Network (the Network) sees this as a significant step backward in consumer protections for low-income households.

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Kathleen Taylor
Asset Funders Network to release report on private funding for CSAs

The Asset Funders Network (AFN) will soon release a report on private sector investment in CSA programs. A preview of the report shows growing interest in the field as reflected by generous funding awarded to active, as well as emerging, CSA programs. By the end of 2016, 313,000 children in 29 states were enrolled in CSAs—a 39 percent uptick from 2015’s end. This growth has been facilitated, in large part, by private sector investment.  

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Kathleen Taylor
Congress introduces bill to overturn rule protecting Hoosiers from payday lending

In early October, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) finalized a rule that would mitigate the harms of payday lending by requiring lenders to determine a borrower’s ability to repay before issuing a loan or limiting the number of loans made without conducting such a test. Advocates and borrowers alike praised the rule—developed after five years of study and public comment—as a positive step forward. But last Friday, six members of Congress introduced a bill that would nullify the CFPB’s rule.

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Kathleen Taylor
Fisticuffs at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: English and Mulvaney Vie for Leadership

Following Richard Cordray’s resignation from his role as Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), two people are clamoring to assume his post. Leandra English, formerly the CFPB’s Chief of Staff and promoted to Deputy Director by Cordray at the Eleventh Hour, asserts she is the rightful acting director, according to procedure established in the 2010 Dodd-Frank and Wall Street Reform Act. Meanwhile, President Trump named Mick Mulvaney, Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), acting director, according to procedure established in the 1998 Federal Vacancies Reform Act. The acting director would serve in the interim while the President appoints a permanent director, which the Senate must confirm in a simple majority vote. 

English, who has helped lead the Bureau since its inception in 2011, and Mulvaney, who once called the Bureau a “sick, sad joke”, embody widely different visions regarding the future of the agency.

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Kathleen Taylor
Doing the Math: "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act" Doesn't Add Up

House Republicans unveiled their tax plan on Thursday, prompting debate between advocates and adversaries about whom the plan most benefits. Paul Waldman writes in an opinion-editorial for The Washington Post that the “two competing narratives” about the plan remain unchanged. Critics argue the plan favors the wealthy and corporations at the expense of the majority of Americans; supporters that it promotes economic growth that will trickle down.

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Kathleen Taylor