For Immediate Release - January 04, 2010

Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office Awards Over $1.1 Million in Grant Funding for Financial Literacy Education

Funds from Fremont Mortgage Lending Settlement, Allocated to Financial Literacy

BOSTON - Today, Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office announced that it will award over $1.1 million in grants aimed at supporting financial literacy education in the Commonwealth. This new grant program will support programs that provide direct consumer outreach, and community education and services designed to help homeowners understand household budgeting, recognize predatory lending practices, and avoid mortgage foreclosure. Funding will also support borrower protection services which include legal representation by qualified legal services organizations for those who are at risk of losing their homes due to fraud, misrepresentation or other unfair, deceptive or predatory lending practices.

The grant funding stems from a settlement obtained by the Attorney General's Office in 2009 against Fremont Investment & Loan and its parent company, Fremont General Corporation. Under the terms of the settlement, Fremont has also agreed not to foreclose upon unfair loans or originate unfair loans in the Commonwealth.

"Our subprime lending enforcement efforts have yielded funds that will be allocated to programs that promote financial literacy education," said Attorney General Coakley. "During a time when the rate of foreclosure is high, it is more important than ever that we equip those in the Commonwealth with the knowledge they need to avert foreclosure and predatory lending practices. The programs funded by this new series of grants will provide Massachusetts citizens with the information they need to make sound financial decisions."

The grant was open to municipalities or nonprofit organizations within Massachusetts that have a proven history of success in outreach and education that individually or collaboratively develop programs that provide consumer protection and education regarding financial literacy topics.

The following organizations were awarded grant funding:

  • Action for Boston Community Development (Boston, MA)
  • Cambridge Neighborhood Apartment Housing Services (Cambridge, MA)
  • Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation (Dorchester, MA)
  • Franklin County Regional Housing and Redevelopment Authority (Turners Fall, MA)
  • Greater Boston Interfaith Organization (Dorchester, MA)
  • Greater Boston Legal Services (Boston, MA)
  • Greater Gardner Community Development Corporation (Gardner, MA)
  • Hilltown Community Development Corporation (Chesterfield, MA)
  • Housing Assistance Corporation (Hyannis, MA)
  • National Consumer Law Center (Boston, MA)
  • Neighborhood Housing Services of the South Shore (Quincy, MA)
  • Neighborhood Legal Services (Lynn/Lawrence, MA)
  • Neighborhood of Affordable Housing, Inc. (East Boston, MA)
  • Oak Hill Community Development Corporation (Worcester, MA)
  • RCAP Solutions (Worcester, MA)
  • Suffolk County District Attorney's Office (Boston, MA)
  • Vietnamese American Initiative for Development, Inc. (Boston, MA)
  • Western Massachusetts Legal Services (Springfield, MA)

The grant money was awarded during the week of December 29, 2009, and must be utilized by December 31, 2010. For more information, please visit the Attorney General's Office Grant Opportunities website.