ACORN was the nation's largest community organization of low and moderate-income families, working together for social justice and stronger communities. From 1970 to its end in 2010, ACORN had grown to more than 175,000 member families, organized in 850 neighborhood chapters in 75 cities across the U.S. and in cities in Canada, the Dominican Republic and Peru.
ACORN's accomplishments included successful campaigns for better housing, schools, neighborhood safety, health care, job conditions, and more. ACORN members would participate in local meetings and actively work on campaigns, elect leadership from the neighborhood level up, and pay the organization's core expenses through membership dues and grassroots fundraisers.
Dring the late 1990's and into the 2000's the United States saw a dramatic increase in a form of legalized robbery known as predatory lending. Predatory lending means imposing unfair and abusive loan terms on borrowers, often through aggressive sales tactics, taking advantage of borrowers' lack of understanding of extremely complicated transactions, and outright deception. Predatory loans turn the dream of homeownership into a nightmare, in the worst instances ending in foreclosure. The damage done is increased by the fact that predatory loans are made in such concentrated volume in poor and minority neighborhoods where better loans are not readily available, and the loss of equity, and foreclosure can devastate already fragile communities.
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