Eric Stein – COO at the Center for Community Self-Help and SVP at the Center for Responsible Lending

eric stein headshot - Eric Stein - COO at the Center for Community Self-Help and SVP at the Center for Responsible Lending

Part 1

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Summary: In this interview, Eric Stein recounts how Self-Help’s Secondary Market Program collaborated with banks and Fannie Mae to induce more loans to be made to low-wealth families. Stein describes how in the 1990s Self-Help staff were approached by borrowers saddled with mortgages that stripped them of their wealth, and how the organization participated in the development of North Carolina’s 1999 bill curtailing predatory lending. He also elaborates on how the organization established the Center for Responsible Lending in 2002 to provide states developing similar legislation with technical assistance, to undertake research projects related to consumer lending, and to engage with federal policy-making processes. Stein notes that despite its extensive research, Self-Help did not appreciate how much risk mortgage lenders were taking on in the 2000s, limiting its ability to predict the full consequences of the subprime lending explosion. Stein concludes with brief comments about his role in the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under the Obama Administration, which sought to consolidate consumer financial protection in a single agency.

Part 2

Click here to listen to the full oral history:

Click below to view the full transcript of the interview:

Metadata:

Summary: In the second part of his interview, Stein details the process behind the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau [CFPB] and challenges it faced in its early stages. The interview also includes Stein’s personal experience while developing, and then working with Congress to enact legislation to create the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and reform the mortgage market. This includes a discussion of some of the main products and practices that the CFPB’s creation aimed to mitigate. Throughout the interview, Stein also takes note of political dynamics and interplay between different institutions that accompanied efforts with passing legislation on consumer protection after the 2008 financial crisis.

 

Biography: Eric Stein is Senior Vice President of Self-Help, a credit union and community development organization. Self-Help has provided $8.5billion in financing and has over 150,000 members. He has worked at Self-Help for 17 years. Stein is also a Senior Vice President for Self-Help’s policy affiliate, the Center for Responsible Lending. Stein served as Special Advisor to Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Melvin L. Watt. He also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Consumer Protection in the U.S. Department of the Treasury. He was responsible for developing, and then working with Congress to enact, legislation to create the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and reform the mortgage market. For this work, he was awarded the Treasury Department’s Distinguished Service Award. Stein holds a law degree from Yale Law School and a B.A. from Williams College.