DALLAS -- U.S. Treasurer Anna Escobedo Cabral pulled from her own personal experiences of growing up in a low-income farming family to advise credit unions on ways to serve the low-income and underserved.
"These people don't understand they have a bit more power in their hands," Cabral told attendees of the 34th Annual Serving the Underserved and 5th Annual Latino Credit Union Conference. "When my family was having difficulties growing up and someone came knocking at the door we'd ignore them until times were better. It's not unusual that they will hide their head in the sand if they're having difficulties."
Cabral said that numbers in Washington show that 1.7 million families are in foreclosure due to subprime loans made from June 2005 to June 2007. She observed that foreclosures do not just impact the family losing their home but a whole community as boarded up homes heighten crime and bring down the value of the surrounding homes.
"So when we talk about helping families access and make use of better choices, we're talking about all of us not just those in foreclosure."
She ended her address by thanking credit unions for their financial education programs.
"We look forward to a brighter future because of you," she said.