WE ARE SEEING, AS WITH THESE MORTGAGE FRAUD SETTLEMENTS THAT SEND ALL THE SETTLEMENT MONEY TO STATE COFFERS AND VERY LITTLE MONEY TO THE PEOPLE DEFRAUDED A SYSTEM THAT MOVES TAXPAYER MONEY FROM ONE HAND TO THE OTHER AND ULTIMATELY OUT TO BUSINESSES THAT POCKET THE MONEY.
THIS ARTICLE ON THE SANDY RELIEF BELOW IS A PRIME EXAMPLE. PEOPLE SHOULD BE OUTRAGED AS WELL THAT MANHATTAN, HOME OF WALL STREET, IS NOT DIRECTING HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS STILL OWED IN FRAUD TO THESE EVENTS!!!
THE ABILITY OF INSURANCE COMPANIES, JUST AS WITH FINANCIAL COMPANIES TO FIND ANY NUMBER OF WAYS TO DENY RESPONSIBILITY IS A DIRECT RESULT OF THE LAWS OUR LEGISLATORS WRITE AND NY AND NJ ARE SUPPOSED TO BE DEMOCRATIC STATES........BUT THEY ARE NOT......THEY ARE THIRD WAY CORPORATE AND WORK FOR CORPORATE PROFIT. THAT IS WHY THIS IS HAPPENING IN THE SANDY DISASTER AND IT IS WHY IN MARYLAND, ALL OF THE MORTGAGE FRAUD SETTLEMENT MONEY IS GOING IN THE STATE COFFERS RATHER THAN TO THE PEOPLE DEFRAUDED.
VOTE YOUR INCUMBENT OUT OF OFFICE AND RUN AND VOTE FOR LABOR AND JUSTICE CANDIDATES!!!!
Austerity Disaster: Hurricane Sandy Victims Thrown to Lending Sharks and Privatized "Relief" Disaster victims are now expected to shoulder relief expenses that used to be shared publicly. January 4, 2013 | Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com
In a shameless display of putting politics before human needs, Congress began 2013 still scrapping over a $60 billion Hurricane Sandy relief bill fully nine weeks after the disaster hit. And if the Katrina experience is any indication, the bill may not bring adequate relief to struggling and displaced homeowners even when it is finally passed.
The damage wrought by Sandy to New York and New Jersey coastal areas was similar in scale to that to New Orleans from Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Just two weeks after Katrina hit, Congress approved $62.3 billion in emergency appropriations, along with numerous subsequent emergency funding requests to cover the damages, which topped $100 billion. Yet as noted on the Occupy Sandy Facebook page, federal relief funds post-Katrina were gutted in favor of “privatizing and outsourcing relief, making room for predatory lenders, disaster capitalists, and gentrification developers.”
According to a report by Strike Debt, the vast majority of FEMA’s resources and efforts are spent on public assistance programs that provide infrastructure restoration. Individual victims of disaster are for the most part just offered personal loans – loans that have many features of predatory subprime lending.
Disaster victims are now being expected to shoulder relief expenses that used to be shared publicly. Most people believe they are covered by their insurance policies or by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), but many disaster victims have found that their insurance policies include obscure provisions that exclude coverage, and the only aid that FEMA gives to individuals is the opportunity to take on more debt.
It is a failing of our austerity-strapped federal disaster relief system that it can offer little real help to individuals; and it is a failing of our private, for-profit insurance system that the legal duty of management is to extort as much money as possible from customers while returning as little as possible to them, in order to maximize shareholder profits.
Most Sany Victim Are Left Stranded
The report by Strike Debt was based on observations made at a community meeting in Midland Beach, Staten Island, on November 18, 2012, as well as on interviews with FEMA and Small Business Association (SBA) representatives, volunteer workers, local business owners, and residents throughout New York City. According to the report, there are three main sources of financial support being offered to Sandy victims: insurance, grants, and loans. Federal support is available only once private insurance has been exhausted.
For federal aid programs:
* Victims are required to first apply for loans before qualifying to apply for FEMA aid, placing the economic cost of the disaster on the individual victim.
* Aid programs favor those who can take on debt, further exacerbating pre-existing inequalities among residents.
* Federal programs are inflexible and fail to meet even basic individual and community needs.
* Relief options are not clearly communicated or well understood. Policies are so complex that even lawyers are confused.
Except for temporary living costs, FEMA grants are accessible only after the homeowner, renter or business applies for an SBA loan. If the applicant qualifies for a loan, he or she is not likely to be provided further FEMA aid. Disaster loans are made through FEMA on the basis of credit history, and favorable interest rates are available only if the applicant cannot get credit elsewhere. That means favorable interest rates are offered only if an applicant cannot qualify for credit through a commercial bank. When the banks got in trouble themselves, the Fed dropped the Fed funds rate (the rate at which they borrow from each other) to nearly zero. But no such relief is extended to disaster victims.
Maryland's Attorney General Doug Gansler said with great fanfare that $1 billion in mortgage fraud settlement money was coming to Maryland and he outlined how the victims would receive relief and justice. He then simply placed $700 million of it in the State general fund where it has now become the money that makes the state general fund look flush.
The states made all kinds of commitments as to how the money would be distributed and then they didn't do it. This recent Federal fraud settlement will be the same. We do know where much of it is going.....it is paying for demolition of Enterprise Zones preparing to build luxury real estate. It is paying for subsidized loans to affluent home buyers that are being recruited to replace those working class and poor who were victims of the fraud. EVEN THE NEWSCASTERS SOUND ASHAMED AS THEY REPORTED ON THIS IN BALTIMORE.
THESE POLS ARE DESPICABLE!!!!!
VOTE YOUR INCUMBENT OUT OF OFFICE!!!
Monday, September 10, 2012 Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition
National Mortgage Settlement-More Needs to Be Done
On August 29th, the Office of Mortgage Settlement released a report on the progress five national banks have made in fulfilling their obligations under the national foreclosure settlement. The banks have committed to providing relief to beleaguered homeowners through principal reduction loan modifications, refinancing, short sales, and more.
To date, banks have done an excellent job in moving forward on short sales while there has been scant progress on principal reduction loan modifications. While this report only covers the first few months since the settlement and does not cover loan modifications that are in progress or in a trial period, the number of homeowners receiving meaningful principal reductions is still a cause for concern.
I'LL HAVE TO LET PUBLIC JUSTICE, CITIZENS JUSTICE, MARYLAND CONSUMER RIGHTS COALITION, NAACP-MD, ALCU-MD, AND MARYLAND PIRG KNOW ABOUT ALL THIS INJUSTICE. I'M SURE THEY ARE SILENT BECAUSE THEY SIMPLY DON'T KNOW!!!!!
So, they are using the money won in these mortgage fraud settlements to give grants to new people they like better than the working class and poor that were the victims of fraud. You know that all of these homeowners that are victims of fraud and/or had foreclosures due to unemployment will not have the credit to buy a home for years. THIS MASSIVE FRAUD WAS DESIGNED TO NOT ONLY GENTRIFY THE COMMUNITIES THESE BALTIMORE POLS WANTED TO MAKE AFFLUENT, IT WAS DESIGNED TO KEEP PEOPLE IN PERPETUAL FINANCIAL STRAIGHTS......JUST AS SUGGESTED BY THE FIRST ARTICLE ABOVE REGARDING THE SANDY DISASTER RELIEF.
In Baltimore, it is important that everyone understands that your City Council member along with Mayor Rawlings-Blake is moving this policy along.....Jack Young, Carl Stokes, Mary Pat Clarke.....all of them. We must run and vote for labor and justice candidates next elections!!!!
VOTE YOUR INCUMBENT OUT OF OFFICE!!!
Program Offers Help with Home Down Payment Residents interested in buying a home in Baltimore could be eligible for a $15,000 grant.
A new program, created after the city settled its lawsuit with Wells Fargo last year, will provide qualified residents interested in buying a home in Baltimore $15,000 in down payment assistance.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced the CityLIFTSM program, which is also supposed to support homebuyer education programs in the areas most impacted by the 2008 financial crisis, on Monday. Baltimore is one of 20 cities that will have access to money from the program that is funded by $170 million from Wells Fargo, according to a news release.
"This collaboration with Wells Fargo and local nonprofits will help Baltimore residents achieve the American dream of homeownership by offering financial support, as well as the resources to help them make successful investment decisions," Rawlings-Blake said in the release.
The city sued Wells Fargo in 2008, alleging that the company had steered minority customers to subprime mortgages. The lawsuit was settled in July after Wells Fargo agreed to provide $425 million in lending for people trying to purchase homes in the city during the next five years, $4.5 million for a lending assistance program and $3 million for local priority funding and foreclosure related initiatives.
During the first phase of the CityLIFTSM program residents must complete a homebuyer’s education course, meet certain income guidelines and have signed a contract to purchase a home in Baltimore to be eligible for the grant, according to a news release. In April, 2013 an additional $3.5 million will be made available to residents without a contract on a home, but they will have to be "mortgage-ready," finish an eight hour homebuyer's course and close on a home in 90 days.