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In the 1960s, the Contract Buyers League fought back against predatory lease scams in Chicago. Decades later, Wall Street firms are using similar predatory lease-to-buy agreements to prey on low income people aspiring to buy their homes.

IPS researcher Chuck Collins wrote an investigate piece in the Summer issue of The American Prospect, describing how former organizers from the Contract Buyers League, many now retired, have regrouped to fight back the resurgence of this predatory practice.  See: Private Equity: The New Neighborhood Loan Sharks.

Also see this Op-Ed by Collins that appeared in the August 23, 2017 issue of The Guardian: Loan sharks were meant to be eradicated. Now they’re back.

And see this video, an excerpt from the 1997 documentary “Blacks and Jews” by Alan Snitow and Deborah Kaufman, about the Chicago-based Contract Buyers League.For information about renting the video for educational purposes, contact the distributor California Newsreel:

Contract Buyers League–an excerpt from “Blacks and Jews” (1997) from Snitow-Kaufman Productions on Vimeo.

Chuck Collins directs the Program on Inequality and the Common Good at the Institute for Policy Studies.

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