NACA & Homeowners Protest Bailout of Bear Stearns

It is unconscionable that while the Federal Reserve and the Bush administration commit billions of taxpayer dollars to the very institutions who created and profited from the mortgage crisis, they promote false promises to the millions of homeowners on the verge of foreclosure.   The Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA) representing hundreds of thousands of at-risk homeowners will organize against this taxpayer BAILOUT of Bear Stearns and JPMorgan/Chase that takes the concept of corporate welfare to new heights.  Hundreds of homeowners will confront this corporate bailout with demonstrations and actions on Wednesday, March 26, 2008 to vent their frustrations and demand equity in this mortgage crisis.

Bear Stearns was instrumental in providing the funding for the largest predatory lenders such as New Century and many others.  They were one of the major investment firms that created this homeowner deception scheme by funding unaffordable mortgage products (i.e. defective products), bundling them into securitized mortgage packages, and marketing them to investors world-wide.  Moreover, investment bankers, including Bear Stearns, have paid themselves billions of dollars in bonuses, salaries and other compensation in the furtherance of this scheme. 

President Bush, Secretary Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke continue to promote false hope for homeowners on the verge of foreclosure while railing against bailouts for hardworking homeowners. The Hope Now initiative provided such false hope. After President Bush announced the Hope hotline number 30% of the calls were abandoned because callers waited over an hour. When homeowners do get through, they are not provided with real long-term solutions.

The administration’s “Project Lifeline” is another publicity stunt that relies on the “good faith” of the same lenders/servicers who created this mortgage crisis.  “It is clear that the Federal Reserve and the Administration continue to blame homeowners facing hard financial difficulties in making payments on mortgages that were structured to fail, while using billions of taxpayer dollars to bailout the same predators who created this mortgage crisis and have hugely profited from it,” says Bruce Marks, NACA CEO.  “The Federal Reserve’s orchestration of JPMorgan/Chase’s takeover of Bear Stearns with taxpayer dollars is an outrage,” continues Bruce Marks.  “Not only did they get a fire sale price, but the American taxpayer is now responsible for $30 Billion of their unaffordable and defective mortgages.  To further this outrage, JPMorgan/Chase refuses to commit to long-term solutions for the mortgages they service.” 

The government can provide real solutions for homeowners at risk of foreclosure without a bailout while holding those who created the crisis responsible.   The Homeowner Stabilization Initiative requires the Federal Reserve and Bush Administration to issue a “safety and soundness” directive to all mortgage servicers as follows:

  1. Immediately stop all the resets and roll back the previous resets to the interest rates for which homeowners were initially qualified.
  2. Stop all foreclosures until real long-term solutions have been initiated by the servicers and/or presented to the investors.  The primary long-term solution would be a loan restructure that reduces the interest rate to a mortgage payment the homeowner can afford for the remaining term of the loan.

The Homeowner Stabilization Initiative relies on Main Street, not Wall Street.  It provides for the “stability of the financial system” as stated by Secretary Paulson. It is not a taxpayer bailout of the predators.  By halting foreclosures and restructuring mortgages into conventional affordable terms, this initiative directly impacts the country’s financial stability since homes would not be abandoned, the tax base of cities and towns would not be eroded, and consumer confidence would be restored.  

NACA continues its advocacy against some of the nation’s largest lenders who refuse to restructure loans with affordable long-term payments.  The focus is now on JPMorgan/Chase and GMAC with others to be targeted soon.  The Federal Reserve and Bush Administration also need to disclose the total amount that taxpayers are paying to the very institutions and investors who are primarily responsible for this unprecedented mortgage crisis.  Bear Stearns, JPMorgan/Chase and others orchestrated this homeownership deception scheme.  NACA will be leading actions and demonstrations to stop this huge corporate bailout and force the politicians, the Federal Reserve and Bush Administration to utilize their power and authority to protect the millions of homeowners at risk of foreclosure.