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I certainly concur that you are courageous to sit and tell us these stories, which I think accentuate a major flaw, a reprehensible flaw in our economic system. I hope we can get at some of the funda- 27 mental problems here with precise but important legislation as we come through Florida cash advance this. One thing that yells out at us is the need for financial literacy exposure.

This morning I was with a group of people from the Urban League and Historic Black Colleges and Freddie Mac on a Credit Smart program that is designed to deal with getting finan- cial literacy out in the community so that we can deal with this when you are faced with people that are smooth talking and fast talking and trying to give you something for nothing. How many of you had an independent, outside participant with you as you went through this, for example, a lawyer? For the life of me, I have never gone to Florida cash advance a closing on a mortgage without a lawyer. And I am wondering whether any of you in the situations you had had some independent party that would chal- lenge the efficacy of this process. I think the record should show that all four panelists, they did not have someone with them. I am not sure on all of the steps that we need to take in this process, but the idea that people who deal in the subprime market and this secondary lending have the ability to have a one-on-one relationship without someone who has the finan- cial skills to evaluate some of these programs makes a lot of sense. I appreciate very much your statements and participation and help in this process, and I look forward to us pushing aggressively forward. And I also have to identify with the bankruptcy remarks that the Senators from Connecticut and Rhode Island made. This is not a one-sided affair, as I think we heard it mostly debated on the floor of the Senate.

I want to tell the panel members how much we appreciate their testimony. As I said at the outset, I know it is difficult to appear in this public atmosphere to tell your personal story, but it con- Florida cash advance stitutes a valuable contribution to this effort we have undertaken. Some of my colleagues made note of it, and I think I ought to, for the completeness of the record, observe that there are a number of financial institutions that have announced recently, subse- quently to when we scheduled these hearings, a number of steps that would address some of the concerns that are here today. In particular, a number of companies have announced that they will no longer finance single premium insurance in their loans, roll it into the mortgage and then you end up paying interest over a sustained period of time. But there is more to be done, obviously, and we intend to continue to press for- ward with really laying out exactly what the problem is, so it is fully understood. We want the regulators to exercise more effective control. We want tougher enforcement of existing laws, which may well need the commitment of more resources. The repeated refinancing of a loan and the stripping out of equity is technically not illegal.

We need to address the education dimension which Senator Corzine talked about. And I encourage the industry itself to continue to try to establish best practices and raise the level of activity within the industry.

It is very helpful in all of this that people will come in and speak out about their own experience. Mackey said, embarrassing for you, although you have passed that threshold, I gather, now.

But you have made a very substantial contribution here today and we thank you very much.

We will excuse this panel and move on to our next panel. The Committee will take just a brief pause while we move this panel out and bring the other panel on. Eakes has, as I think we all know, been a leader in the effort to fight predatory practices, both in his home State of North Carolina and nationally. And Florida cash advance of course, North Caro- lina has taken a number of very important initiatives that I think are worthy of attention.

I think what we will do is we will include your full statements in the record. I very much appreciate the obvious effort and time and thought that was devoted to Florida cash advance preparing these statements. They are quite comprehen- sive and they will be of enormous help. If you Florida cash advance could summarize your statements in 8 to 10 minutes, we would appreciate that. We are pleased to welcome you before the Committee, and I might note that many years ago, in his younger life, Attorney General Miller worked as a Vista volunteer in Baltimore, Maryland. We were pleased to have him there and we are pleased to have him here today before the Committee. You might add that I was also a very enthusiastic volunteer in your campaign. In a way, a summary is made easy because of what happened before.

It tells the story because it did not happen to just those four individuals.