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New and Better Mortgage Lending Standards Maybe

New Orleans               The press is making a big deal of Mel Watt’s comments as the chief housing regulator at the Federal Housing Finance Agency to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s convention in Vegas.  He claims he has a new plan to loosen up the rules so that banks finally lend some money to first-time buyers and [...]

Bank Redlining Increasing and Wealth Plummeting in Minority Communities

Seattle 1964

New Orleans        The Federal Reserve report on the continued decrease in lending to African-American and Hispanic families is unambiguous.  In 2013, 4.8% of total home loans were to African-Americans, 7.3% were to Hispanics.  In 2012, the numbers were only marginally better at 5.1% and 7.2% respectively.  As recently as 2006, before the real [...]

Are Peoples’ Services a Prelude to Peoples’ Empowerment for the Poor?

Managua         The Organizer’s Forum in Nicaragua will start with a bang on its first full day with a meeting with the head of the informal workers’ union followed by a visit with a representative of the Nicaraguan cooperative movement. Waking up early it was still sprinkling after more than a dozen hours of intermittently hard [...]

Bank of America Record Settlement with Remorse

Missoula     Accurate reports seem to indicate that the Justice Department is in the final drafting of a record setting, highest corporate penalty ever paid with Bank of America for mortgage related abuses. The price tag is going to be slightly north of $16 billion with $9 billion going to the government by way of a [...]

Wholesale Bank Retreat from Lending to Lower Income and Minority Borrowers

New Orleans      The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) passed in 1978, more than 35 years ago, was straightforward. Banks could no longer redline, meaning they could not use the deposits from lower income and minority neighborhoods to finance mansions for the rich in the sprawling suburbs. More plainly stated, they could not discriminate in their lending. [...]

Promises Broken and Settlements Sidetracked for Homeowners Facing Foreclosures

Little Rock           I’m sorry. Here we go again spinning like a broken record on the amazing and devastating ineptness of the US government and its various agencies and branches to seriously solve the problem of bank intransience and offer real relief to borrowers needing loan modifications to escape foreclosure and [...]