CDF Blog

Originally published on The Huffington Post.

There has been lots of controversy over the U.S. Postal Service’s plan to sell off dozens of post office properties across the country by a real estate firm chaired by the husband of the Senior U.S. Senator from California, presumably to raise money to save the agency. […]

Read More

Originally published on The Huffington Post.

Almost four years ago, I wrote about a new non-profit check cashing and payday lender that opened in the Fruitvale area of Oakland, California in the San Francisco Bay Area. This alternative to private sector financial parasites, for-profit check cashers and payday lenders, has not […]

Read More

Originally published on BankAct.org.

In January of this year, the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Postal Service published “Providing Non-Bank Financial Services for the Underserved,” arguing that that the Post Office (PO) could provide financial services at significantly lower rates than check cashing and pay day lenders charge. These postal banking services, the […]

Read More

Originally published in Community Investment, San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank, Spring 2011, pages 9-11, archived on the Federal Reserve’s Community Development website (PDF).

Rita S. recently walked into a friendly, clean, check cashing store in the Fruitvale neighborhood of Oakland, California and began to talk to the teller about cashing her check. She found […]

Read More

All told, $1.6 billion each year of interest, excessive fees, and other exorbitant costs are being charged to poor people every single day, making it almost physically and fiscally impossible for individuals to exit the poverty cycle. Most often, minorities and immigrants, as well as poor whites, are all locked in a financial roundabout in which there is no escape.

Today, the number of private check cashers, payday lenders and pawnshops is more than double the number of McDonald’s franchises in the United States. More than 20 million Americans cash more than $60 billion in checks each year at check cashing businesses

Read More