Bruce Marks, founder of the leftist Neighborhood Assistance Corp. of America, makes a good living shaking down banks for loans to deadbeat borrowers that he thinks are entitled to homes.I agree that Marks should be called to Washington for a hearing, but not because anyone wants or respects his opinion. He should be called to task, along with his Democratic cohorts (including the likes of Dodd and Obama), as they are largely responsible for the mess we are in.
Last month, he and about 100 urban protesters stormed Fannie Mae's headquarters, demanding it stop foreclosures on subprime houses - the same houses his group pressured Fannie to fund.
As usual, the bullying tactics worked: Fannie Mae is now reviewing every foreclosure, while increasing the number of mortgages it restructures by lowering interest rates and extending loan terms to make payments more affordable. The government-backed firm guarantees some 30% of the nation's outstanding mortgages.
Congress' banking committee chiefs, Sen. Chris Dodd and Rep. Barney Frank, are also demanding banks stop foreclosures. And guess who they've invited to testify about that? That's right: Marks, who has proposed stopping all resets on subprime adjustable mortgages and allowing late payments for up to 90 days.
Marks insists that regulators "force" lenders to restructure their loans to prevent foreclosures from going forward.
"For noncooperative lenders," he says, "the regulators can and must impose 'cease and desist' orders."
For future underwriting practices, Marks urges lenders to adopt the NACA model.
"NACA has done lending the right way," he says. "No down payment. No closing costs. No fees. No perfect credit. At a below-market fixed rate."
And no repayment or profit. Call it Marksism.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
From an editorial in Investor's Business Daily last week: