New ACORNs And Another SubPrime Agenda Desguised As Government

Discussion in 'Politics' started by pspr, Apr 12, 2013.

  1. pspr


    This is what our government is up to. Everything government does now is part of the "Agenda."

    The federal credit watchdog agency created by financial reforms to help prevent another crisis is taking key housing policy advice from some of the same militant housing-rights activists who promoted risky subprime lending before the crisis.

    The radical activists play a formal — and often secretive — role in influencing policy at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an agency that has the power to police virtually every financial transaction in the U.S. for "fairness."

    Over the past six months, they've met behind closed doors with top CFPB officials to help draft aggressive new "fair-lending" enforcement rules.

    They are among the 25 taxpayer-compensated members of a recently impaneled Consumer Advisory Board that was set up to provide "information, analysis and recommendations" to CFPB.

    The board's charter states "the director shall appoint the members without regard to party affiliation." Yet almost all are Democrats and some are major party fundraisers.

    A few are trial lawyers who make a living suing banks. Some have taken hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal grant money.

    CFPB is not only paying these housing-rights zealots for their advice, but is contracting with them to help it investigate lenders.

    Overall, the agency awarded an eye-popping $150 million in contracts and services in 2012.

    CFPB Director Richard Cordray appointed the board members to three-year terms starting last year.

    He himself was appointed to a five-year term by President Obama while Congress was in recess. Senate Republicans are trying to block his formal confirmation, while conservative groups challenge the constitutionality of CFPB's unique organization and budget.

    The $600 million agency is independently funded and largely unaccountable to Congress. Its shadowy group of advisers raises new questions about undue influence and transparency at the controversial new agency.

    Radical Influence

    The press was denied access to a round of meetings in February between top CFPB officials and the group of activist-advisers, along with any minutes summarizing their confidential talks held at agency headquarters in Washington.

    The radical outside influence worries credit hawks who see the government making the same easy-lending policy mistakes that led to the mortgage crisis.

    Now, affordable-housing activists are helping set the agenda at a new regulatory behemoth with the power to set the enforcement agenda for all the other federal agencies regulating the financial sector.

    CFPB recently released new mortgage rules that, despite claims of tightening standards, require no minimum credit scores or down payments, and even allow checks from "government assistance programs" as qualifying income.

    At the same time, the agency has made it easier for investigators to sue creditors for alleged lending discrimination by adopting "disparate impact" liability as an enforcement weapon.

    This was music to the ears of agency advisers who believe everybody has a "right" to a house, regardless of their means to afford one.

    Before the crisis, they aggressively pushed lenders to close the racial "mortgage gap" by making it easier for minorities to qualify for home loans. In the wake of subprime foreclosures, they're demanding lenders reinvest in minority communities.

    Consider the advisory board's chairman, Jose Quinonez. He formerly worked for the Center for Responsible Lending, a left-wing community organizing group that lobbied Fannie Mae and private mortgage lenders to ease underwriting rules for low-income minority borrowers before the crisis.

    In fact, Center co-founder Martin Eakes encouraged banks to approve loans for minorities with "credit blemishes," arguing there wasn't "any risk in these loans."

    Now after record defaults, he insists lenders have a moral duty to restore "catastrophic" losses of wealth in minority communities.

    Working with Quinonez on CFPB's advisory board is Ellen Seidman.

    Subprime Social Policy

    As a top Clinton bank regulator enforcing the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), she actually encouraged subprime lending in "underserved" communities.

    "Growth in the subprime credit market indicates that credit needs in many low- and moderate-income areas are being met," she chirped in 1999. She also cheered the relaxation of credit standards and the development of the subprime securities market.

    "Without CRA as an impetus," Seidman said, "this market would likely not have developed."

    More recently, she argued it's "absolutely critical" Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac continue their support for "low-income and minority communities," despite the government-backed mortgage giants' central role in the crisis.

    Another social activist serving on the CFPB advisory board is Dory Rand of Chicago's Woodstock Institute.

    She too believes banks should take on undue risk in pursuit of social objectives.

    Rand recently applauded CFPB's decision to use "disparate impact" discrimination claims against lenders, arguing the dubious doctrine is a "critical tool" for punishing "subtler" forms of discrimination and ensuring "a more just financial marketplace."

    Woodstock's board includes the operations chief of National People's Action, a radical inner-city pressure group.

    Before the crisis, NPA sent bus loads of volunteers to trash the homes of bankers while demanding more home loans for minorities.

    With the "first African-American president," the group said in its 2008 report, activists have a chance to "gain greater public control of economic decision-making" and "correct the injustices of the past."

    NPA Chairman Eugene Barnes joined Obama in 2010 when he signed the Dodd-Frank Act, the massive banking regulation that created CFPB.

    The CFPB advisory board also includes Gary Acosta, co-founder of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, which before the crisis aggressively pushed Hispanics — including illegal immigrants — into the subprime market.

    NAHREP also lobbied Freddie and Fannie to ease underwriting for immigrants, arguing for more "culturally appropriate" standards such as allowing Hispanic applicants to "pool their income" with other tenants to satisfy household cash-flow requirements.

    It also would like to see regular remittance payments to Mexico counted favorably toward immigrant credit scores, something CFPB is now reviewing.

    In 2007, on the eve of the crisis, Acosta personally lobbied banks to change the way they "grade" credit to better accommodate Hispanic customs and traditions.

    "NAHREP maintains that California, Texas, and other states with large numbers of immigrants could see a dramatic jump in homeownership if a greater number of major lenders adopted alternative credit-scoring systems," NAHREP said in a 2007 report.

    Added the group: "NAHREP currently estimates that about 375,000 undocumented immigrant households are eligible for mortgages."

    Now, after easy lending destroyed billions of dollars in Hispanic wealth and nearly bankrupted California, NAHREP complains that "tight credit practices" and "stricter underwriting requirements" are threatening "Hispanic homeownership."

    'Exposing' Discrimination

    One CFPB adviser receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal grants is Maeve Brown, a trial lawyer who runs Oakland, Calif.-based Housing and Economic Rights Advocates. HERA hires minorities to pose as borrowers in order to test loan officers to see if they treat them differently.

    Complaints, in turn, are funneled to CFPB and HUD investigators.

    She's joined on the CFPB advisory board by another radical housing investigator, Jim McCarthy, who used to work with Cordray in Ohio when Cordray, as the state's top prosecutor, sued banks and praised radicals conducting "organized hits" on them.

    McCarthy helps gin up investigative leads for CFPB as head of Dayton, Ohio-based Miami Valley Fair Housing Center. Using federal grant money, his center also runs an "aggressive testing program to expose discriminatory practices" in home lending, according to its website.

    Another trial lawyer landing a seat on the CFPB advisory board is Bob Stoll, whose Oregon law firm has sued several banks for "securities fraud" since the crisis. Stoll is vice chairman of the Oregon Democratic Party and a member of the Democratic National Committee in Washington.

    CFPB records show Cordray and his deputy also have met separately with Berkeley, Calif.-based Greenlining Institute, which before the crisis joined ACORN in leveraging the CRA to pressure Wells Fargo and other large banks into committing billions in mortgages for low-income minorities with weak credit.

    Last year, CFPB Deputy Director Raj Date assured Greenlining officials during a California speech that keeping credit flowing to minority communities is the agency's "core agenda."

    What's more, CFPB Office of Fair Lending Director Patrice Ficklin, a former civil-rights activist, recently huddled with the CRA's top lobbyist in Washington.

    John Taylor of the leftist National Community Reinvestment Coalition has lobbied regulators to press banks to "promote borrowers from the subprime to prime mortgage market" — even if they have "less-than-perfect credit."

    Of course, that's how our trouble began. But Taylor got his wish. CFPB's new mortgage rules effectively guarantee low-cost mortgages even for higher-risk homebuyers.
  2. And when we have mortgage crisis ver. 2.0, the liberals will again loudly deny they had any role in it and blame the greedy banks and evil republicans.
  3. " In the wake of subprime foreclosures, they're demanding lenders reinvest in minority communities."

    I got first dibbs on a community garden.what else we got? Oh yea,,, how about a parking garage, maybe a state office building, they always look nice bringing white life to the lunch time crowd.

    Dang if only...we didn't have to compete with Federal investment on project housing. They get all the tenants that pay on time.

    Uhmnnn..... who wants retail? got 8 store fronts, a gun shop, a pawn shop, liquor store, someone a Popeye, I love popeye chicken...oh well that's 4 ...4 vacancies is okay...whoops. Need a center for social there? we need a party headquarters...woo hoo low loves low rent, comes with free parking space for your broke down cadillac.

    Only 3 left...anyone need a write off?:D
  4. wjk


    If things keep going the way they are going, we may all become sub-primers. Probably around the time all the fed's printing comes home to roost...hyperinflation.