September 2, 2007
Minorities, African-Americans in particular, are facing significantly higher rates of foreclosure than others. It is expected that more than 250,000 Blacks and Hispanics will lose their homes in the next few years. The major culprit is lenient mortgage standards that allowed consumers to get mortgages for which they probably should not have been approved.
Where Would I Like to Be?
September 1, 2007
What is your strategy to get you to the financial place you’ve always dreamed of being? Too often our financial future is comprised of waiting for Social Security, Medicare and/or Medicaid, or some other type of social program to take care of our financial and health needs. While some legitimately deserve these services, we should take appropriate steps not to become dependent on a system that is broken and will ultimately leave large numbers of Americans out in the cold.
Where Am I Now?
August 1, 2007
Too often when someone wishes to evaluate their current financial position, they tend to examine their position against that of others. How much money do I have compared to members of my family, neighborhood, church? Even more bewildering, we tend to look at things we accumulate as a measure of our success such as the kind of car we drive or the amount of designer clothing in our closet.
July 1, 2007
By 2010, 78 million Americans will be 65 or older. One-third of them do not have a retirement plan. Most of these Americans need and want financial education, and wish that someone would provide the means by which they can develop a financial plan. Personal debt in the United States has reached an all-time high. Personal bankruptcy filings could hit a record high this year.
Time For Renewal: Freedom Starts With Me
June 1, 2007
Profound and heroic leaders, such as Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Mary McLeod Bethune, Medgar Evers, Rosa Parks and Malcolm X, among others, changed the reality for Blacks in America. By examining their current state and those of their forefathers, they used the strategies, tools and equipment available to them to enhance life for those too young or incapable of advancing it for themselves. They held strong to the baton, seeking to put it into the hands of skilled and talented individuals who would progress God’s people down the track. Unfortunately, we, the current generation have mishandled the baton and allowed it to fall from our hands.
A conversation with Rickie C. Keys, a senior research fellow for the University of Denver Center for African-American Policy.
June 2, 2007
Q: Your recent research has focused on the connection between race and foreclosure in Denver. What did you find?
A: We saw that where there was a higher concentration of ethnic groups, such as African-Americans or minorities, there was a direct correlation between that and an increased rate of foreclosure. With whites it showed the opposite: As the percentage of whites in a population or ZIP code increased, the number of foreclosures decreased. The reason we see this correlation, in part, is that unscrupulous mortgage companies are not really taking into consideration credit risk and the debt-to-income ratio of the consumer. Another factor is people wanting to live the American Dream – some of whom are not really able to afford it.
May 17, 2007
Peter Groff, president pro tem of the Colorado Senate, on Wednesday outlined plans for an education program aimed at helping people, especially minorities, prevent foreclosure and gain better access to financial products.
Groff, along with Rickie Keys, a senior fellow at the University of Denver’s Center for African- American Policy, intends to create a program and website that connect banks and other financial entities with minority borrowers.
May 16, 2007
Sen. Peter Groff, D-Denver, and educator Rickie C. Keys on Wednesday unveiled plans for a study and educational program they hope will help slow record foreclosures in Colorado, especially in poor and minority neighborhoods.
Keys, founder and president of Renewal Financial Services LLC in Shreveport, La., already has launched a similar program in Shreveport.
“We have significantly more comprehensive data and partnerships in Denver than we do in Shreveport,” Keys said.
“As a result, I believe that we can have a significant impact on Denver, generally, and Montbello and other neighborhoods,” Keys said.
April 2, 2007
Emmanuel Church of God in Christ will start building houses on three church-owned lots in the next six months. At the same time, the church will ask city officials to donate 25 adjudicated properties on Carver Street to expand rebuilding activities.
The church anchors the corner of Carver and Kennedy Drive. Shady Oaks Bar, with rooms to rent by the hour out back, sits on the other end of the two-block street. A hand-lettered sign tacked on an outside wall of the bar notes that people wanting to use a room for more than three hours must talk to the owner.
Rickie Keys, who created a renewal plan for Mooretown, sees the children and their parents as the generations to breathe new life into the neighborhood, one block at a time.
March 3, 2007
An interview with Dr. Rickie Keys, CAAP Senior Fellow and President of Renewal Financial Services, LLC on high-risk lending and consequences in the market. What’s in store for cash-strapped and credit-strangled families in the future? Why isn’t there a national housing policy? What is Congress doing about it and what are the politics behind recent downturns in the stock market?
To hear Podcast, visit: Ascent Perspectives
February 25, 2007
When it comes to looking for mortgages, do low-income borrowers get the credit they deserve? According to a recently released study by the Center for African American Policy at the University of Denver, the answer is no.
The study, released last month, examined the lending practices at banks in 14 cities and found that because many people who live in low-income, minority areas have no credit history, they pay more interest on mortgages, if they can even qualify.
Rickie C. Keys, the author of the study, said the federal government needs to loosen some restrictions that compel banks to be timid about lending in lower-income areas. (Among other things, he said, federal regulations require banks to hold higher capital reserves when lending to those with low credit scores.)
“The objective is to give those consumers access to credit, so they can improve their credit scores and get out of this Catch-22 cycle,” Dr. Keys said.
A DU study argues a rise in creditworthiness helps not only mortgage seekers, but the whole community.
January 12, 2007
Banks should provide small loans to those with no credit or subprime credit – defined as FICO scores below 660, according to the study’s lead author, Rickie Keys, a senior research fellow for the University of Denver Center for African-American Policy.
The repayment of those loans would then be reported by the bank to the three major credit bureaus. That would provide people an “opportunity to get small loans and use those as a springboard to improve their scores,” said Keys, who is based in Shreveport, La.
January 21, 2007
An interview with Dr. Rickie Keys, CAAP Senior Fellow on Health & Social Policy, about his recent study “Financial Empowerment for the Unbanked & Underbanked Consumer”
To hear Podcast, visit: Ascent Perspectives
January 9, 2007
Credit scores are used to deny African-Americans and other minorities access to credit and financial services, according to a study conducted by the University of Denver Center for African American Policy and released Tuesday by the National Black Caucus of State Legislators.
Key points of the study, which was conducted by Rickie Keys of DU’s Center for African American Policy, included:
- Credit scores are more closely correlated to lack of access to financial services for unbanked and underbanked communities than other factors, such as race, income and ethnicity.
- Credit scores today are used for an increasing array of basic necessities, such as determining eligibility to obtain employment, rent a home, obtain insurance and open accounts for checking accounts, as well as basic utilities like telephone service or electricity.
- The more than 130 million Americans lacking prime credit scores (also the unbanked and underbanked) are disproportionately African-American and Hispanic.
- Although banks may be located in areas with high concentrations of low Fair Isaac & Co. (FICO) scores, they do not provide proportional access to their services in these underserved areas, compared with higher-FICO-score, higher-income communities.