Wealth: An abundance of valuable material possessions or resources that have a monetary or exchangeable value. This means different things to different people, but one thing is certain, we work hard to earn our keep, acquire the things we want and afford the little and big extravagances that add spice to the daily grind.
Wealth is not one’s total worth. Instead, it is the sum of material possessions and resources one may access and exchange for other material possessions. Lifestyle and values influence wealth and the decisions we make about how to use our wealth.
The newlywed couple on a relatively low income who carefully squeezes in mortgage payments for their first home is able to do this because of some accumulated wealth, however meager. One must begin somewhere.
Some inherit their wealth, some build it from scratch. Some stash it away and some share it. Some invest and some splurge. Some dream of owning mansions while others dream of an off-the-grid cabin. We choose different paths, but whenever we exchange our wealth for new possessions, we seek professional advice and the assurance of ethical practices.
The Center for Responsible Lending plays a crucial role in ensuring ethical practices. Its goal is to protect home ownership and family wealth. Its vision is, “A fair, responsible and transparent market for sustainable loans that build wealth and a stronger economy for all.”
Since 2002, “CRL has conducted or commissioned landmark studies on predatory lending practices and the impact of state laws that protect borrowers.” They have also “supported state and federal legislative efforts to combat predatory lending and worked for regulatory changes to require responsible practices among lenders nationwide.”
Founder and CEO Martin Eakes believes that, “The economic problems we’ve seen in subprime lending came about through a narrow focus on self-enrichment among brokers, lenders and investors on Wall Street.” He continues, “We must redefine success to include the common good, and recognize that we are all enriched through sustainable lending that strengthens families and communities.”
In addition to being a strong and very active advocate for ethical practices, North-Carolina based CRL offers extensive resources, via their website, encompassing all aspects of financial affairs from mortgage lending to banking practices, credit cards, tax refund scams, car financing guidelines, debt scams and much more.
CEO Martin Eakes was amongst the twelve people to receive a Ford Foundation Visionaries Award on April 29. The Foundation recognizes social change visionaries who “continually infuse new energy and ideas into the effort to solve our most pressing social problems.”
At a time when many of us turn to the Internet for information when making financial decisions, it is important to seek out the proper resources and trusted advisors.
Curious? Click HERE for a list of award recipients.
Also read: NAR, CRL & Boom!