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Protesters Hit Household International Executives' Homes

Household International's predatory lending brought protesters from across the country to its headquarters and the homes of its CEO and board members.
2,000 Low-Income Leaders Protest Household International's Predatory Lending

On Sunday June 30, about 2,000 members of ACORN from all over the United States, including many victims of predatory loans made by Household International, protested the company's abuses at its headquarters and at its CEO's and other board members' homes in suburban Chicago.
Household International does business under the names Household Finance Corporation and Beneficial Corporation and has been accused in a national class-action lawsuit filed by ACORN of engaging in a wide range of deceptive and abusive lending practices.

Predatory lending means imposing unfair and abusive loan terms on borrowers, often through aggressive sales tactics, taking advantage of borrowers' lack of understanding of extremely complicated transactions, and outright deception. Predatory loans turn the dream of homeownership into a nightmare, in the worst instances ending in foreclosure. Predatory lenders disproportionately strike the elderly, low-income families, and people of color.

Sunday afternoon, ACORN members hit five targets simultaneously, sending hundreds of members to each of the following locations: the home of Household CEO William A Aldinger III in Lake Forest, Ill.; the home of Household Board Member S. Jay Stewart, also in Lake Forest; the home of Board Member John Edwardson in Wilmette, Ill.; the home of Board Member John Nichols in Winnetka, Ill.; and Household Corporate Headquarters in Prospect Heights, Ill.

At each house, ACORN members posted giant foreclosure notices and marched and chanted, handing out flyers to passing cars warning them about the "Loan Sharks in the Neighborhood." John Nichols came out and argued with the crowd of less-than-satisfied customers on his yard.

In each neighborhood, ACORN members proceeded from the board member's house to a neighboring business district, where they posted on buildings, cars, and posts notices reading "Warning: Loan Sharks in the Neighborhood," and identifying the predators.

At Household's headquarters, ACORN members hung up a 50-foot banner reading "Household: Predatory Lender."

These events were preceded by a report session at 1 p.m. at Loyola University, during which leaders and allies reported on recent successes in ACORN’s predatory lending campaign. Guest Speakers included Minnesota Commerce Commissioner Jim Bernstein, Minnesota State Senator Sandy Pappas, and New York City Council Member James Sanders.

Photos of these events and images of the Warning posters are available. Contact ACORN at acornnews (at) or 202-329-7847.

Attached photo shows Household Board Member John Nichols in Winnetka, Ill., greeting ACORN members at his door, June 30, 2002.



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