Bond Statement On Predatory Lending

Julian Bond, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), today issued the following statement regarding New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer's announcement of a major predatory lending settlement.

"Congratulations to New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer for taking a stand on sub-prime lending. Predatory lending is an evil, deceptive practice aimed primarily at people of color. Sub-prime lenders prey on African-Americans, the elderly and female heads of households, charging astronomically high rates of interest and imposing excessive fees and penalties. This practice traps millions of individuals in a horrific cycle of debt-slavery.

"The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) passed resolutions against predatory lending in 2000 and 2002, and has even gone so far as to forbid its units from accepting donations from predatory lenders. It is time for all victims of this practice and for those who are truly concerned about economic empowerment to demand access to reasonable and humane lending practices for all Americans.

"I hope that other states will follow New York's lead and pay more attention to economic discrimination in the form of unfair, irresponsible lending practices. This is also an opportune time for financial institutions and responsible lenders to wake up and address the legitimate credit needs of low income people."

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