Feb 19, 2009
Expect GOP false attacks on Homeowner Stability Initiative
With the announcement of President Barack Obama’s plan to help millions of homeowners in danger of losing their homes with the $75 billion Homeowner Stability Initiative, we can expect the same kind of debunked Republican lies we saw used against the economic stimulus package.
Despite the lies being debunked numerous times, even Michigan Republicans like U.S. Reps Candice Miller and Mike Rogers continue to use the lies of the high speed rail line between LA and Las Vegas, money for STD prevention, money for ACORN and money for a mouse habitat in San Francisco. We will see some of the same tired, false talking points with the Homeowner Stability Initiative.
My favorite oldie but goodie is that the housing foreclosure crisis is the fault of former President Jimmy Carter. That follows the time-tested GOP strategy of if you're going to tell a lie, it might as well be a big one. That lie goes, that it was the fault of the "Community Reinvestment Act back in 1978 where lending institutions were required to start lending to people that couldn't afford to pay the loans back."
The fact is it simply addressed the practice of "redlining." Redlining is the practice of an insurance company or bank refusing to insure an auto or home based or lend money based solely on the geographic area where the person lives, provides an inferior product based on geography or at a higher price. The Community Reinvestment Act simply required banks to lend money to people previously for that reason, but the people had to be eligible for a loan in all respects.
It was greed, the lack of regulation and the sub-prime mortgages that led to the foreclosure crisis. Anyone doubting that just had to watch the recent CNBC documentary "House of Cards."
The documentary was more chilling and scarier than any horror or slasher movie, and it highlighted the collective folly that brought down Wall Street and cost millions of Americans their homes, jobs and retirement savings.
It showed how former used car and waterbed salesman were now selling mortgages instead of trainer mortgage specialists, and the goal was to get loans to as many people as possible to make money. Veteran mortgage bankers said gone were the days when a borrower had to have two year's worth of tax returns and they went to your jobs to interview you to prove income, and now you just had to "state" your income with no proof on the application.
I know a guy in Livingston County who got a mortgage to buy the lakefront home from his three siblings after their father passed away, and he didn't even have a job. Needless to say, the home their father built with his own hands was foreclosed within a year, despite refinancing at least twice.
Just remember that when the GOP misinformation, talking points and lies begin.