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      Get the Facts on Predatory Lending

      Posted on July 31, 2012 at 12:10 PM

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      Photo credit: Flickr user Taber Andrew Bain

      The Minnesota Department of Commerce is working with U.S. Congressman Keith Ellison to stop predatory lending. Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman and Congressman Ellison are holding a special Town Hall Forum on Predatory Lending on August 8 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at Neighborhood Hub in North Minneapolis. Commissioner Rothman and Congressman Ellison want to hear your stories about how predatory lending and foreclosure have affected your community so we can stop these destructive practices. All residents of North Minneapolis are invited to attend.

      Predatory lending often targets low-income consumers, causing financial hardship in Minnesota neighborhoods. Scam artists and predatory lenders take advantage of consumers from all walks of life, causing foreclosures and financial hardship in our communities. In recent years, foreclosure and loan modification scams have severely harmed North Minneapolis neighborhoods.

      According to the Department of Commerce, nearly 136,000 Minnesota homes have gone into foreclosure in the last seven years. That adds up to almost $13 billion in home equity lost in Minnesota alone since 2005. If your neighbor or someone down the street goes into foreclosure, the average loss in value to your home is roughly $8,500.

      These are merely a few reasons why the upcoming forum is an important opportunity not only to tell your stories to Commissioner Rothman and Congressman Ellison, and learn more about these harmful practices. Educating yourself about these scams is critically important, and the Commerce Department is here to help. Knowledge is often the foundation of financially secure communities and a consumer’s best defense against the pitfalls of predatory lending.

      At this special town hall event, Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman, Congressman Keith Ellison, and Minneapolis community leaders will listen to personal testimony and answer questions from the public. Learn more about your rights as a consumer, how to file a complaint, state resources currently available to consumers, new tactics utilized by scam artists, foreclosure alternatives in your community, questions to ask your lender, simple steps to avoid becoming a victim, and more. This forum is FREE and open to the public.

      Contact Ben Hill with questions at 651-296-5282 or benjamin.hill@state.mn.us.

      Neighborhood Hub is located at 3210 Oliver Avenue N., Minneapolis.