NACA’s success has been the result of the active participation and advocacy of many thousands of its Members over the years.
NACA began in 1988 in Boston as the Union Neighborhood Assistance Corporation (UNAC). Its roots go back to the Hotel Workers Union - Local 26, an activist union that won and established the country’s first housing trust fund for union members. Learning from that experience, NACA employed the union’s activist tactics to confront lenders who were engaged in discriminatory and predatory lending practices.
NACA was the first organization to take on predatory lending and coined the term “Predatory Lending.” In 1990, NACA initiated the campaign in Boston against second mortgage scams. This predatory scheme consisted of financial institutions targeting long-time, elderly and lower-income homeowners offering refinancing and other products with the goal of taking their equity and their home. NACA focused on Fleet Finance. After a four-and-a-half-year war, Fleet surrendered, committing $8 billion to low- and-moderate income lending and paying hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements to those Fleet had victimized. Fleet also agreed to fund NACA’s revolutionary mortgage product.
NACA’s advocacy did not stop with Fleet. NACA continued its multi-year campaigns against some of the largest and most powerful financial institutions. NACA targeted First Union for its discriminatory lending practices focusing on its CEO Eddy Crutchfield (alias “Fast Eddy”). After a multi-year campaign, NACA won, and First Union agreed to change its lending practices and mortgages for working people. NACA next targeted Ford Motor Company which at the time owned The Associates, the country’s largest finance company. As a result of NACA’s campaign, Ford ended their ownership of The Associates, and NACA subsequently forced The Associates to reduce the interest rates for hundreds of thousands of its borrowers. NACA also won victories against Barnett Bank, Bank of Boston, Riggs and others. As a direct result of NACA’s efforts, these institutions have made significant reforms to move away from their predatory lending practices.
On September 12, 2000, NACA’s CEO Bruce Marks testified before Congress predicting the mortgage crisis and was the first to publicly do so. NACA also targeted Countrywide, the nation’s largest and most aggressive predatory lender. NACA was the first organization to expose Countrywide’s predatory practices and NACA’s successful campaign established the most effective solution for restructuring unaffordable mortgages and saving homes. NACA now has agreements with the major lenders/servicers and the major investors (i.e., Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) setting the national standard for assisting at-risk homeowners. NACA’s accomplishments were unprecedented with nearly 150 Home Save/Save The Dream events nationwide creating the most successful model for assisting at-risk homeowners. Hundreds of thousands of individuals participated in these events and many thousands were provided same-day affordable solutions.