Heinz College’s M. William Sermons Co-Authors Paper on Lending Practices

Jan 04, 2013


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M. William Sermons, an adjunct professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s H. John Heinz III College in Washington D.C., has begun coauthoring a series of reports on the state of lending in America. Sermons, who is also the Director of Research for the Center for Responsible Lending, is using these reports to detail the predatory lending practices that continue to undermine American households.

The first report (The State of Lending in America & its Impact on U.S. Households) gives and in-depth view of U.S. households’ income, spending, debt, and wealth. It also examines mortgage lending, auto loans, credit cards, and student loans.

“There are a few things that make this report unique,” says Sermons. “The first is that it looks at how the American consumer has fared over the last ten years in terms of income, expenses, assets and debts and shows how lending practices have influenced the change in household finances over that period of time.”

“One of the reports most stark findings,” Sermons continues, “is that once you account for basic household expenses (housing, transportation, education, food, etc.), the typical household has just over $100 left each month to cover unexpected expenses, emergencies, savings, etc.”

Another reason these reports are unique is that when all three volumes are released it will cover an unprecedented number of lending products: mortgages, student loans, credit cards, prepaid cards, auto loans, payday loans, overdraft fees, car title loans, debt collection. Since the modern consumer has a multiple financial relationships and uses multiple financial products, this report attempts to look comprehensively at lending products and abuses.

Sermons also went on to highlight the contributions of Imani Stutely and Katherine Takai, two Heinz DC students.

Read The State of Lending in America & its Impact on U.S. Households >>

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