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Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2008 10:50 pm

Summit addresses predatory lending

Dawn Dannenbring, a staff organizer with the Central Illinois Organizing Project, a faith-based community organization that promotes social justice issues, has watched as the number of home foreclosures in the United States has surged from 8,000 per day to 12,000 per day since April.

"It's exploding right before our very eyes," she says.

Central Illinois is not immune to the problem. Using collected data from January through July, CIOP mapped out 1,600 home foreclosures in Bloomington, Decatur, Champaign, Peoria, and Springfield. The situation is especially troubling for the capital city, where foreclosures have increased by 5,000 percent in the past eight years.

On Saturday, from 8:30 a.m. until noon at First Presbyterian Church, 321 S. Seventh St., CIOP will team up with AARP to address the housing loan crisis, as well as problems with payday lending, as part of the Downstate Predatory Lending Summit.

Dannenbring says the summit will address the history of economic crises in America and how the latest failure occurred.

"We're going to explain what's happening in the financial crisis meltdown," she says, "because there sure are a lot of questions about it."

Brenda Grauer from the office of the Illinois Attorney General will present a workshop on predatory mortgage lending, and Lynda DeLaforgue from Illinois Citizen Action and the Msgr. Egan Campaign for Payday Lending Reform will be on hand to discuss payday loans.

Attendees will hear stories from borrowers facing foreclosure and from those caught in the payday trap and learn how to reach legislators to encourage change. Government officials from the local to national level have also been invited to attend.

Summit registration is free to the public. For more information, visit www.ciop.org.

Contact Amanda Robert at arobert@illinoistimes.com.

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