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PA County Launches Anti-predatory Lending Campaign
Source of Title Reprinted with permission


At a press conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a coalition of private and public organizations headed by the Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group (PCRG) and supported by Freddie Mac , kicked off the Don't Borrow Trouble Allegheny County campaign. The public education campaign is aimed at preventing predatory lending practices and protecting home ownership in Allegheny County.

The coalition urges consumers to call the Don't Borrow Trouble help line at 866-907-2285. The hot line is staffed by trained professionals who can offer free assistance to individuals seeking information about purchasing a home, refinancing, consolidating debt, taking out a home-equity loan and mortgage foreclosure prevention. Individuals can also be referred to appropriate legal or financial experts.

"Across the nation, increasing numbers of individuals are facing foreclosures or defaults," said Mike Doyle, a Pennsylvania congressman. "I encourage individuals who think they may be in over their heads to call the Don't Borrow Trouble helpline for advice. I commend the numerous public and private organizations who worked together to bring this valuable resource to the Allegheny County community."

Steven Shivak, the executive director of PCRG, said that his organization is thrilled to be working with Freddie Mac to launch the newest Don't Borrow Trouble campaign. He added that the additional recognition, credibility and resources brought by this collaboration would allow the PCRG to help a record number of homeowners.

Freddie Mac is the principal sponsor of Don't Borrow Trouble's expansion throughout the United States and has brought the campaign to more than 50 locations across the country. The Don't Borrow Trouble Allegheny County campaign also uses brochures, posters, television public service announcements, print advertising and workshops to educate consumers who are most vulnerable to predatory lending practices. By combining advertising and face-to-face consumer education and housing counseling, the campaign helps consumers avoid abusive lending practices, such as exorbitant interest rates, excessive fees and pressuring tactics.

"Predatory lending practices attack the heart of our communities," said Craig Nickerson, the vice president of expanding markets for Freddie Mac. "These practices can strip away home equity and trap unwary borrowers in a dismal cycle that ultimately replaces homeownership with foreclosure. Don't Borrow Trouble is a proven method to help stop predatory lending, keep families in their homes, build wealth and strengthen communities. These organizations should be commended for banding together and combining their resources to educate consumers on the perils of predatory lending practices."

Don't Borrow Trouble was pioneered in Boston by Mayor Thomas Menino and the Massachusetts Community and Banking Council.


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