Debt Relief Industry

New Opportunities for Debt Relief Under Community Development Services

Written by Steve Rhode

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Treasury (OCC), Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board) and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) have issued a notice that may be an opportunity for debt relief companies.

Under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) banks are encouraged to participate in community development services. The community development services assist the banks to show they are favorably involved in their communities. The announcement out today helps to further define what activities would be considered as counting towards the banks community development services column.

If you have not contacted your local banking institutions you might want to and talk to them about how you can assist their members with community development services under the CRA.

Examples of these services include:

Providing financial services to low- and moderate-income individuals through branches and other facilities located in low- and moderate-income areas, unless the provision of such services has been considered in the evaluation of an institution’s retail banking services under 12 CFR __.24(d);

Increasing access to financial services by opening or maintaining branches or other facilities that help to revitalize or stabilize a low- or moderate-income geography, a designated disaster area, or a distressed or underserved nonmetropolitan middle-income geography, unless the opening or maintaining of such branches or other facilities has been considered in the evaluation of the institution’s retail banking services under 12 CFR __.24(d);

Providing technical assistance on financial matters to nonprofit, tribal, or government organizations serving low- and moderate-income housing or economic revitalization and development needs;

Providing technical assistance on financial matters to small businesses or community development organizations, including organizations and individuals who apply for loans or grants under the Federal Home Loan Banks’ Affordable Housing Program;

Lending employees to provide financial services for organizations facilitating affordable housing construction and rehabilitation or development of affordable housing;

Providing credit counseling, home-buyer and home-maintenance counseling, financial planning, or other financial services education to promote community development and affordable housing, including credit counseling to assist low- or moderate-income borrowers in avoiding foreclosure on their homes;

Establishing school savings programs or developing or teaching financial education or literacy curricula for low- or moderate-income individuals;

Providing electronic benefits transfer and point of sale terminal systems to improve access to financial services, such as by decreasing costs, for low- or moderate-income individuals;

Providing international remittance services that increase access to financial services by low- and moderate-income persons (for example, by offering reasonably priced international remittance services in connection with a low-cost account);

Providing other financial services with the primary purpose of community development, such as low-cost savings or checking accounts, including “Electronic Transfer Accounts” provided pursuant to the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996, individual development accounts (IDAs), or free or low-cost government, payroll, or other check cashing services, that increase access to financial services for low- or moderate-income individuals; and

Providing foreclosure prevention programs to low- or moderate-income homeowners who are facing foreclosure on their primary residence with the objective of providing affordable, sustainable, long-term loan modifications and restructurings.

You can read the full announcement here.


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About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

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