Donít Borrow Trouble

The City of El Paso, Freddie Mac, the El Paso Housing Finance Corporation and numerous community partners officially kicked-off the Donít Borrow Trouble El Paso campaign to help area consumers make informed financial decisions when seeking a loan.

The campaign aims to:

Donít Borrow Trouble El Paso is committed to combating predatory lending practices in the El Paso region through consumer education and awareness. Donít Borrow Trouble El Paso is a partnership of local organizations working to educate and empower El Pasaons on the consequences of high cost loans. It is a campaign designed to strengthen the financial capacity of the community and prevent unscrupulous lenders from taking advantage of the uninformed and/or vulnerable consumers. This consumer awareness campaign helps individuals avoid predatory lending practices through education and media outreach to connect them with consumer-friendly programs and products. City Representative Susie Byrd, who serves as the Board President of the El Paso Housing Finance Corporations, underscores the importance of the Donít Borrow Trouble campaign and participates in this effort. She states, ďOur goal is to provide the tools to El Pasoans so that they have the knowledge to protect themselves from predatory lenders. The Donít Borrow Trouble Campaign is a huge step in empowering El Pasoans in this regard.Ē ďPredatory lending practices attack the heart of our communities. These practices can strip away home equity and trap unwary borrowers in a dismal cycle that ultimately replaces homeownership with foreclosure,Ē said Craig Nickerson, vice president of Expanding Markets for Freddie Mac. ďDonít Borrow Trouble is a proven method to help stop predatory lending, keep families in their homes, build wealth and strengthen communities. These organizations should be commended for banding together and combining their resources to educate consumers on the perils of predatory lending practices.Ē

The public can call the toll free information line at 211 in order to obtain information on the following: Donít Borrow Trouble will launch a website hosted on the City of El Pasoís domain at www.elpasotexas.gov/DBT available in English and Spanish. The website will contain an array of helpful information for the public including a summary of services that DBT partners offer with contact information for each DBT partner, FAQs on such topics as foreclosure, payday loans, pawnshop loans & credit, a checklist for consumers to use before they get a loan, a glossary of financial terms, and useful links to websites that contain information on mortgages, high cost loans, and budgeting.

In addition to the website and the toll free line, a media campaign will take place where Donít Borrow Trouble billboards will be placed in high traffic areas throughout El Paso and Sun Metro buses will feature these in poster formats.

Donít Borrow Trouble has organized FREE legal clinics for people with questions on mortgages, foreclosures, consumer loans, credit cards, and basic bankruptcy. These free legal clinics are held once a month at the Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid office located at 1331 Texas Ave. from 5:30 p.m. Ė 7:30 p.m. Upcoming dates are Nov. 14, and Dec. 12.

Partners: El Paso Housing Finance Corporation, ACORN Housing, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the YWCA, El Paso Affordable Housing CUSO, El Paso Collaborative for Community and Economic Development, GECU, the Housing Authority of the City of El Paso, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA), West Texas Credit Union and the City of El Paso Community Development Department.

Donít Borrow Trouble El Paso is a partnership of local organizations working to educate and empower El Pasoans on the consequences of high cost loans. Made possible by Freddie Mac.

Freddie Mac is the principal sponsor of Donít Borrow Troubleís expansion throughout the United States and has brought the campaign to more than 50 locations across the country. Donít Borrow Trouble was pioneered in Boston by Mayor Thomas M. Menino and the Massachusetts Community and Banking Council.