Dan Leibsohn


Daniel M. Leibsohn is President, Executive Director and Founder of CDF, operating Community Check Cashing's Oakland storefront since 2009. Prior to that, he founded the Low Income Housing Fund, and has worked extensively with community organizations around the country.


The only *nonprofit* check cashing store in the country is in danger of being closed because no bank will provide business checking accounts

Community Check Cashing, the only nonprofit check cashing store in the country located in the Fruitvale neighborhood of Oakland, California, offers much lower prices, provides financial coaching for individuals and groups, maintains ties to banks and credit unions for referring people for accounts and loans, and develops policy proposals. It has saved an estimated $1.2 million for its customers […]

The Post Office and Financial Services for the Unbanked: Some Practical Matters

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 […]

Community Perspectives: Community Check Cashing

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. […]

Recent Posts

Teachers Rooted in Oakland Partnership

Teachers Rooted in Oakland: A Partnership Between the Oakland Mayor’s Office, Community Development Finance (CDF), philanthropic partners, landlords, and other leaders. Our Mission: to advance educational equity by addressing the cost of living and providing affordable housing to increase the recruitment & retention of highly skilled and committed Black, Latinx, and other teachers of color […]

CDF Partnerships

Community Development Finance (CDF) has participated in a number of partnerships since opening in 2009.  We recently announced our new partnership with Our Biswas which has provided funds to enable us to make interest-free loans.  Our Biswas, an international lender headquartered in East Lansing, Michigan, uses the Nano Finance method and has wanted to […]

New Partnership: Our Biswas

Community Development Finance (CDF) wishes to announce a new partnership with Our Biswas. This non-profit organization works overseas offering financial support to very low income women. Please visit www.ourbiswasusa.org to learn about the organization.

Our Biswas is working through the innovative concept of Nano Finance to provide emergency and basic needs to thousands of […]

Addressing Gentrification and Homelessness Pressures and Community Development Needs in the Bay Area

There has been a great deal of discussion about the lack of affordable housing, nonprofit office space, homeless housing and artists’ housing in Oakland due to the tragic warehouse fire, the issues associated with SROs and their conversions, the need for broader community development options and programs, the lack of good jobs, problems faced by small businesses, bank closures, and the overall increasing pressures from gentrification including rent and housing sales price increases.  These same conditions exist throughout the Bay Area for the most part. Many excellent solutions presently exist and are in operation, and many excellent recommendations have been made. …The need for additional strategies and a more encompassing approach have become clear from several recent events….

Payday Loans: Predatory Evil or Absolute Necessity: Debt, Banks and a New Policy Perspective

Pay day loans are very controversial.  On one hand, payday loans are reviled by many public officials, members of the clergy, policy makers, academics and researchers, analysts, journalists, advocates and others who have created a somewhat relentless attack on this financial service product over the last several years.

Payday loans and associated non-bank financial services are not popular products by the standard definition. Depending on which figures one uses, 3 percent to 5 percent of American consumers view payday lending or associated non-bank financial services like check cashing favorably.

A Non-Predatory Financial Services Program for the Unbanked and Underbanked: A New, Encompassing Strategy

Many important, innovative and effective programs to address these issues have been implemented around the country and have had a positive impact on large numbers of people in the U.S.  However, in total, these existing programs, while excellent in so many ways, have not been able to address the changing needs of unbanked people or […]

A Non-Predatory Financial Services Hub Description

Service Delivery – Financial Hubs

A Hub would consist of a location bringing together all the needed services to assist low and very low income, unbanked and underbanked households with bad credit (usually about 400 to 600 credit scores).  The use of Hubs or financial centers could provide the most complete set of financial and […]

How to Deal with Credit Card Debt

Reader’s Note: This post is the first in a series CDF is writing for the California Council of Churches on various financial services issues. The original version of this post can be viewed on their website: calchurches.org/financial-coaching.html. You may view or download a PDF version of […]

Community Check Cashing Profiled in The Nation Magazine!

Writer and illustrator Susie Cagle has created a wonderful profile for Community Check Cashing’s non-profit business model, storefront, and lending program. Check out the full article in the The Nation online!

Can a New Kind of Payday Lender Help the Poor? Oakland’s Community Check Cashing offers […]

CDF Comments on CFPB’s Proposed PayDay Loan Regulations

Comments on the CFPB’s Proposed Payday Lending Regulations


12 CFR Part 1041

[Docket No. CFPB-2016-0025]

RIN 3170–AA40

Payday, Vehicle Title, and Certain High-Cost Installment Loans


Submitted By Community Development Finance 3411 East 12th Street, #124 Oakland, CA 94601 510 479-1037

October 6, 2016


Community Development Finance (CDF) operates […]