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Special Collection: Credit and Domestic Violence

This special collection includes a categorized and selected listing of articles, bibliographies, fact sheets, laws and court action, papers, regulations, reports and surveys. It is offered as an additional tool to assist advocates working on and interested in credit issues related to ending violence against women. Items may be cross-referenced for ease of use. Direct links to the documents are provided from this page. For additional annotated information on a document click on “more information.” Comments and content suggestions welcome. Contact the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence at 1-800-537-2238; 1-800-553-2508 (TTY).

Table of Contents:

   
  • Acronym & Abbreviation Key
    Click here for a list of organizational, legislative, and trade-related acronyms and terms contained in the annotated entries of this special credit collection.

Credit & Domestic Violence | Back to top

Items annotated here explicitly address credit issues for survivors of domestic violence.

  • Protecting your Identity | HTML HTML (2 p.)
    by National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (2005)
    This website discusses the importance of protecting your identity from abusers. It provides readers specific measures to take to ensure protection of their identity.
    + View Summary
  • Financial Tips for Domestic Violence Victims and Survivors | PDF PDF (3 p.)
    by National Network to End Domestic Violence (April 2006)
    This guide provides financial tips. Topics include monitoring your credit and changing your ATM information.
    + View Summary
  • What Domestic Violence Survivors Should Know About Credit Reports | PDF PDF (2 p.)
    by Women in Need, Inc. and the National Consumer Law Center (May 2005)
    This consumer ed brochure covers why a credit record is important, finding out what is in your credit record, fixing errors in the report, the effect of an abuser’s credit history, building a credit record, and cautions against “credit repair” agencies.
    + View Summary
  • Economic Education Programs for Battered Women: Lessons Learned from Two Settings | PDF PDF (25 p.)
    by Katie Ciorba VonDeLinde & Amy Correia, Building Comprehensive Solutions to Domestic Violence, National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (April 2005)
    This BCSDV paper discusses economic education, sometimes also called, "financial or economic literacy." The discussion describes well-established economic education programs based in domestic violence agencies in Iowa and St. Louis, Missouri.
    + View Summary

About Credit Reports/Scores & Building and Repairing Credit | Back to top

A credit report is a written compilation of information collected by one of three predominant nationwide credit reporting agencies (CRAs): Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. A credit score is a single number, usually between 350-850 that lenders frequently use to help them decide a person’s ability to repay their debts. Items annotated here include fact sheets and documents that inform consumers about what they need to know about credit reports, scores, and building and repairing credit histories.

  • Fact Sheet 6: How Private is My Credit Report | HTML HTML (12 p.)
    by Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (Revised February 2006)
    This guide covers credit reporting basics. Privacy is key. Topics include describing what is in a credit report, explaining credit scores, access to credit reports, obtaining reports, addressing negative information and errors, and enforcing rights.
    + View Summary
  • Fact Sheet 6(a): Facts on FACTA | HTML HTML (17 p.)
    by Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (Revised December 2005)
    This guide explains how FACTA helps identity theft victims through free credit report provisions, fraud alerts, and truncation of credit cards, debit cards, and SSNs. Statistics and references are included.
    + View Summary
  • Consumer Report Security Freeze Legislation, 2008 Session | HTML HTML (11 p.)
    by National Conference of State Legislatures (June 2008)
    This state-by-state review of 2008 legislative session activity covers security freeze bills and enactments. Advocates might consult this guide for ideas about security freeze provisions that may limit information sharing and enhance confidentiality.
    + View Summary
  • The Truth About Credit Reports and Credit Repair Companies | PDF PDF (2 p.)
    by National Consumer Law Center
    This consumer ed brochure is a “know your rights” document covering credit reports and how to identify and address report errors. Advocates may find this brochure helpful for community education as well as individual advocacy with survivors.
    + View Summary
  • What You Should Know About Your Credit Report | PDF PDF (4 p.)
    by National Consumer Law Center (July 2005)
    This fact sheet provides a quick guide for obtaining free annual credit reports, identifies credit report scams to watch for, and provides more in depth instruction on what to do if information in a credit report is inaccurate or incomplete.
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  • Fact Sheet 6(c): Your Credit Score | HTML HTML (9 p.)
    by Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (2005)
    This guide covers credit scoring basics: who develops the scoring systems, tips on improving scoring, and new rights to credit scores under FACTA. Class and ethnic-based discrimination is included. The guide is helpful for its section on building credit.
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  • Credit Scores are Vital to your Financial Health | PDF PDF (6 p.)
    by Consumer Federation of America and Fair Isaac Corporation (2005)
    This guide details credit scores: what they are, why they matter, what a good score is, items that affect scores, and contact information for obtaining scores. This document is co-written by the company that promotes the FICO scoring system.
    + View Summary
  • What Domestic Violence Survivors Should Know About Credit Reports | PDF PDF (2 p.)
    by Women in Need, Inc. and the National Consumer Law Center (May 2005)
    This consumer ed brochure covers why a credit record is important, finding out what is in your credit record, fixing errors in the report, the effect of an abuser’s credit history, building a credit record, and cautions against “credit repair” agencies.
    + View Summary

Community Reinvestment Act | Back to top

The Community Reinvestment Act, originally passed in 1977, requires the ongoing, affirmative responsibility of banks to help meet the credit needs of their local communities, including low and moderate income neighborhoods. Four federal agencies are responsible for oversight of those lending institutions under their jurisdiction: the Federal Reserve Board, the Office the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Office of Thrift Supervision.

  • Analysis of Final CRA Ruling for Mid-Size Banks and Thrifts of All Asset Sizes | PDF PDF (6 p.)
    by National Community Reinvestment Coalition (Summer 2005)
    This analysis covers the mid-July ’05 CRA regulations. The memo describes major changes in the rule: CRA exams for mid-sized banks, the definition of community development, and codification of anti-predatory lending standards.
    + View Summary
  • Beginner CRA Manual | PDF PDF (101 p.)
    by National Community Reinvestment Coalition (September 2007)
    his manual includes: the CRA regulation, evaluating bank performance, CRA sunshine fact sheets, contact information and regulator descriptions, recent CRA ratings, and CRA agreement case studies. There is also a state-by-state review of success stories.
    + View Summary

Court action, laws, and regulations on credit | Back to top

Federal regulations issued under the authority of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act are sometimes known as “Regulation B” provisions.

Federal Regulations
  • 6500 Part 202-Consumer Protection-Equal Credit Opportunity (Regulation B) | HTML HTML (2 p.)
    by FDIC (May 2005)
    Prohibiting discrimination in relation to credit based on sex and marital status
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  • 12 C.F.R. §202.1(b) | HTML HTML (2 p.)
    (January 2005)
    (prohibiting creditor practices that discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, or age (provided the applicant has the capacity to contract)).
    + View Summary
  • 2 C.F.R. § 202.7(a), (d) | HTML HTML (2 p.)
    (January 2005)
    (including the right to apply for credit in one’s own name and disallowing practices requiring an applicant spouse’s co-signature when a person qualifies on their own and is not making a joint application).
    + View Summary
  • 2 C.F.R. § 202.5(c) | HTML HTML (3 p.)
    (January 2005)
    (providing that a creditor can not use information on the other spouse or former spouse of the applicant, except in specific instances of joint use, liability, or reliance on collateral or that spouse’s income)
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  • 12 C.F.R. §§202.10(a), 202.6(b)(6)(i),(iii) | HTML HTML (2 p.)
    (January 2005)
    (providing that creditors must reflect the participation of both spouses where a spouse is permitted or contractually liable for an account).
    + View Summary
State Law
  • Consumer Credit Counseling, 2005 Legislation | HTML HTML (4 p.)
    by National Conference of State Legislatures (2005)
    This NCSL covers a variety of consumer credit counseling bills and enacted legislation in AZ, CA, IL, KY, MD, MA, MT, NJ, NC, OR, PA, SC, TN, TX, VT, VA, and WVA.
    + View Summary
  • Predatory Mortgage Lending: Current State Laws | HTML HTML (15 p.)
    by National Conference of State Legislatures (January 2008)
    This document by the National Conference of State Legislatures provides a state-by-state review of laws concerning predatory mortgage lending.
    + View Summary

Credit Counseling | Back to top

  • Credit and Your Consumer Rights | HTML HTML (6 p.)
    by Federal Trade Commission (March 2005)
    This website lays out your rights under the federal consumer laws.
    + View Summary
  • Money Matters: Credit and Equal Credit Opportunity | PDF PDF (58 p.)
    by West Virginia’s Women Commission (2007)
    A comprehensive guide discussing credit issues as they relate to women, includes issues such as consumer protection and bankruptcy. *Note: This guide is specific to West Virginia - other states may vary greatly.
    + View Summary
  • Credit Counseling Crisis Update: Poor Compliance and Weak Enforcement Undermine Laws Governing Credit Counseling Agencies | PDF PDF (13 p.)
    by National Consumer Law Center (November 2004)
    This report examines state credit counseling agency licensing and registration laws. The piece updates a more extensive report issued April 2003 - Credit Counseling in Crisis.
    + View Summary
  • Credit Counseling in Crisis: The Impact on Consumers of Funding Cuts, Higher Fees and Aggressive New Market Entrants | PDF PDF (54 p.)
    by Consumer Federation of America and the National Consumer Law Center (April 2003)
    This report offers a comprehensive review of the credit counseling industry, including: data and statistics, history, analysis, and recommendations. Consumer materials on selecting a credit counseling agency are provided.
    + View Summary
  • Consumer Concerns for Older Americans: Credit Card Debt and Credit Counseling | PDF PDF (6 p.)
    by National Consumer Law Center (August 2004)
    This document provides the “ABCs” of credit counseling, including industry history, a credit counseling agency services, debt management plans, industry abuses, tips for consumers, basic state law variations, and resources.
    + View Summary
  • Consumer Credit Counseling, 2005 Legislation HTML HTML (4 p.)
    by National Conference of State Legislatures (2005)
    This excellent article describes the federal and state laws that may be used to assist survivors of domestic violence facing eviction or loss of housing opportunities due to battering perpetrated against them.
    + View Summary

Credit Discrimination | Back to top

Fair and equitable access to credit is one aspect of credit discrimination. Cost of credit is also part of credit discrimination. Those interested in credit discrimination may also want to review documents listed under “Predatory & Payday Lending” below.
  • From Access to Cost: The Changing Nature of Credit Discrimination | PDF PDF (2 p.)
    by Javier Silva (May 2005)
    This document provides a concise overview of credit discrimination including “reverse redlining” – a denial of fair pricing of credit. This piece describes a growing trend of sub-prime lending disparities disproportionately affecting communities of color.
    + View Summary
  • 2004 Fair Lending Disparities: Stubborn and Persistent | PDF PDF (37 p.)
    by National Community Reinvestment Coalition (April 2005)
    This NCRC survey discusses HMDA data from 15 large lending institutions. The executive summary describes chronic fair lending disparities primarily affecting communities of color, women, and low and moderate-income borrowers
    + View Summary

Credit & Housing | Back to top

  • Federal Housing Laws and Domestic Violence | PDF PDF (39 p.)
    by National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty (June 26, 2008)
    This document outlines legislation regarding Fair Housing and Violence against Women and discusses both of their impacts in relation to Domestic Violence.
    + View Summary
  • Housing Discrimination and Domestic Violence | PDF PDF (2 p.)
    by ACLU Women's Rights Project (2009)
    This fact sheet describes sex discrimination in housing and how eviction of domestic violence survivors can be a form of sex discrimination.
    + View Summary
  • The Rights of Domestic Violence Survivors in Public and Subsidized Housing | PDF PDF (2 p.)
    by ACLU (2008)
    This guide discusses survivors’ rights in reference to housing. It includes rules and regulations passed to protect victims’ of domestic violence.
    + View Summary
  • Federal Housing Resource Guide | PDF PDF (15 p.)
    Technical Assistance Collaborative (2001)
    This manual lays out federal housing programs including programs for the elderly and section 8 housing.
    + View Summary
  • A Stacked Deck – How Credit is used to Screen Out Those Most in Need of Federally Subsidized Housing
    by Maeve Elise Brown, Clearinghouse Review (September-October 2005)
    This primer describes the misuse of credit history/scores keeping people out of federally subsidized housing. Sections include applicant screening, credit scores’ disparate impact on people of color, and rationale for limiting credit report applicability.
    + View Summary
  • Hitting the Wall: Credit as an Impediment to Homeownership | PDF PDF (17 p.)
    by R. Bostice, P. Calem, and S. Wachter, Joint Center for Housing Studies (February 2004)
    This paper describes credit quality trends and compares renters to homeowners. The report is helpful for its research review covering the intersection of credit and homeownership. Education appears critical for credit quality and homeownership.
    + View Summary

Data & Reports on Credit | Back to top

  • From Access to Cost: The Changing Nature of Credit Discrimination | PDF PDF (2 p.)
    by Javier Silva (May 2005)
    This document provides a concise overview of credit discrimination including “reverse redlining” – a denial of fair pricing of credit. This piece describes a growing trend of sub-prime lending disparities disproportionately affecting communities of color.
    + View Summary
  • 2004 Fair Lending Disparities: Stubborn and Persistent | PDF PDF (37 p.)
    by National Community Reinvestment Coalition (April 2005)
    This NCRC survey discusses HMDA data from 15 large lending institutions. The executive summary describes chronic fair lending disparities primarily affecting communities of color, women, and low and moderate-income borrowers.
    + View Summary
  • Hitting the Wall: Credit as an Impediment to Homeownership | PDF PDF (17 p.)
    by R. Bostice, P. Calem, and S. Wachter, Joint Center for Housing Studies (February 2004)
    This paper describes credit quality trends and compares renters to homeowners. The report is helpful for its research review covering the intersection of credit and homeownership. Education appears critical for credit quality and homeownership.
    + View Summary
  • Credit Counseling in Crisis: The Impact on Consumers of Funding Cuts, Higher Fees and Aggressive New Market Entrants | PDF PDF (54 p.)
    by Consumer Federation of America and the National Consumer Law Center (April 2003)
    This report offers a comprehensive review of the credit counseling industry, including: data and statistics, history, analysis, and recommendations. Consumer materials on selecting a credit counseling agency are provided.
    + View Summary

Predatory & Payday Lending | Back to top

Items listed in this section currently concentrate on predatory practices involving mortgage lending and payday loans. A “predatory loan,” as defined by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, has one or more of the following features: (1) charges more in interest and fees than is required to cover the added risk of lending to borrowers with credit imperfections; (2) contains abusive terms and conditions that trap borrowers and lead to increased indebtedness; (3) does not take into account the borrower’s ability to repay the loan; and (4) often violates fair lending laws by targeting women, minorities, and communities of color. Source: Glossary of Terms, National Community Reinvestment Coalition, available at: http://www.ncrc.org/consumerresources/glossary.php

  • Payday Lending | HTML HTML (6 p.)
    by National Conference of State Legislatures (January 2009)
    This state-by-state review of 2008 legislative session activity covers payday lending. Advocates might consult this guide for ideas about payday lending legislation that may limit what licensees can do.
    + View Summary
  • Protection Against Predatory Lending | PDF PDF (4 p.)
    by Policy Matters (2008)
    This document provides key state policy measures adopted by states all around the country. This includes predatory mortgage lending prohibitions and payday lending restrictions.
    + View Summary
  • Predatory Mortgage Lending: Robs Homeowners and Devastates Communities | PDF PDF (2 p.)
    by Center for Responsible Lending (2006)
    This basic fact sheet describes different predatory practices including excessive fees, abusive prepayment penalties, kickbacks to brokers, loan “flipping”, unnecessary products, mandatory arbitration, steering, and targeting.
    + View Summary
  • Predatory Lending: The New Face of Economic Injustice | HTML HTML (3 p.)
    by Nikitra S. Bailey, Human Rights, Volume 32, No. 3, American Bar Association (Summer 2005)
    This brief essay describes how economic justice now involves the terms of credit, as opposed to access to credit. The document describes the discriminatory practices of predatory lending and their impact on African Americans and Latinos in particular.
    + View Summary
  • Predatory Mortgage Lending: Current State Laws | HTML HTML (15 p.)
    by National Conference of State Legislatures (January 2008)
    This document by the National Conference of State Legislatures provides a state-by-state review of laws concerning predatory mortgage lending.
    + View Summary
  • Research and Reports on Predatory Mortgage Lending & High-Cost Non-Mortgage Lending | HTML HTML (12 p.)
    by National Consumer Law Center
    This bibliography lists references and resources on predatory mortgage lending. High-cost non-mortgage lending is also covered, including resources on payday lending, refund anticipation loans, rent-to-own, credit cards, and pawnbrokers.
    + View Summary
  • Payday Lending Basics | HTML HTML (3 p.)
    by Center for Responsible Lending (2005)
    This document is an overview on payday lending. Advocates may find this concise question and answer document helpful as a consumer education piece and primer. The document links to additional resources, including background statistics on payday loan
    + View Summary
  • Predatory Payday Lending Traps Borrowers | PDF PDF (2 p.)
    by Center for Responsible Lending (2005)
    This fact sheet describes the payday lending industry and the targeting of loan shops near military bases and in African-American neighborhoods. It also describes “rent-a-bank” arrangements - allowing payday lenders to circumvent state law prohibitions.
    + View Summary

Acronym & Abbreviation Key | Back to top

This is a list of organizational, legislative, and trade-related acronyms and terms contained in the annotated entries of this special credit collection.

  • AICCCA – Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies
  • BCSDV – Building Comprehensive Solutions to Domestic Violence
  • CFA – Consumer Federation of America
  • CRA – Community Reinvestment Act or Credit Reporting Agency
  • CRL – Center for Responsible Lending
  • CROA – Credit Repair Organizations Act
  • DMP – Debt management plan
  • ECOA – Equal Credit Opportunity Act
  • FACTA – Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act
  • FCRA – Fair Credit Reporting Act
  • FICO – Fair Isaac & Company
  • FTC – Federal Trade Commission
  • HMDA – Home Mortgage Disclosure Act
  • NCLC – National Consumer Law Center
  • NCRC – National Community Reinvestment Coalition
  • NCSL – National Conference of State Legislatures
  • NFCC – National Foundation for Credit Counseling
  • NRCDV – National Resource Center on Domestic Violence
  • SSN – Social Security Number