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FYI: The community development group ACORN announced last week that it has reached a proposed settlement with the infamous mortgage lender Household International, now owned by HSBC bank. The November 25 settlement centers on Household’s creating a $72 million program to help customers who charge that they were victims of predatory lending practices avoid foreclosure. The program will offer homeowners who are behind in their payments a range of assistance, including reduced interest rates, waved late charges and reduced principals. Household has also agreed to contribute funding to ACORN’s financial counseling programs for three years. In October 2002, attorneys general from 20 states settled a suit against Household for $486 million on behalf of defrauded borrowers. Inner City Press editor Matthew Lee, who has campaigned tirelessly against Household and its parent HSBC, charges that despite that settlement, the company’s non-mortgage consumer lending practices have not changed. [12/3]