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SB896: One signature away from history

After months of movement through the California Senate SB 896 has officially been sent to the Governor for final approval.

Mission Asset Fund is thrilled to announce that as of this morning, after more than a year of movement through the California legislative process, we are a single pen stroke away from SB896 becoming law.

MAF was sent notification that SB896 has moved through the engrossment process and is now on it’s way to Governor Brown’s desk to receive final approval!

We want to thank everyone who has been involved in this long, intricate process. Through your support, we are only one signature away from creating a new and better lending space for hardworking families that supports sustainable scaling and collaboration between micro-lenders statewide.

Now we need to make sure that SB896 gets signed! We sent a letter to Governor Brown yesterday afternoon to ask him to finalize this legislation. Read the letter below.

August 4, 2014
The Honorable Edmund G. Brown, Jr.
Governor, State of California  

RE: SB896 (Correa)

Dear Governor Brown,

On behalf of Mission Asset Fund, we respectfully request that you remove unnecessary barriers to the financial mainstream by signing SB896 into law.

SB896 has overwhelming support from public leaders, nonprofit organizations and policy advocates across the state for its potential to create new opportunities for culturally relevant financial products and services to help low-income Californians realize their true economic potential.

Close to 1 million California families are in the financial shadows without access to the most basic mainstream financial products like checking or savings accounts. According to CFED, 57% of California consumers have subprime credit scores, making loans more costly and inaccessible to low-income families. Indeed, millions of Californians are forced to subsist on the financial fringes, struggling to access responsible financial tools to build their financial security.

SB896 would set a major precedent by recognizing and legitimizing the work in small-dollar lending and credit building fields. The bill will establish a licensing exemption within the California Finance Lenders Law (CFLL) for nonprofit organizations like MAF that facilitating zero-interest loans and provide financial education.

In the past 6 years, MAF has facilitated over $3.0 million in social loans through the tested and proven Lending Circles Program, allowing thousands of clients to improve their credit scores and to have access low-cost loans. MAF serves clients directly in the San Francisco Bay Area and indirectly through partnerships with other nonprofit organizations statewide.

The enactment of SB896 will encourage more nonprofits to help financially underserved Californians. The bill will recognize efforts by nonprofits to network and collaborate together to lower the cost burdens of providing lending services in their own communities.

SB896 has gained widespread support from the following public leaders, organizations, and advocates:

Asian Law Alliance
CA State Controller, John Chiang
California Association for Micro Enterprise Opportunity
Californians for Shared Prosperity Coalition
Calexico Community Action Council, Inc.
Center for Asset Building Opportunities
Centro Latino for Literacy
Family Independence Initiative
National Council of La Raza
Office of the Treasurer & Tax Collector City & County of San Francisco
Opportunity Fund
Pilipino Workers Center of Southern California
Progreso Financiero
Salaami Firm
San Francisco City Supervisor, David Campos
The Greenlining Institute
Watts / Century Latino Organization

We are grateful for your leadership on this critical issue. SB 896 is a strong step forward in helping millions of Californians living in the financial shadows become visible and successful consumers.

Jose Quinonez, CEO