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  • June 2011
    M T W T F S S
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  • Mary K. Lenahan, J.D., Realtor

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NACA Loan Modifications: It Takes Not a Village, but a Whole Country to Keep the Dream Alive

Bank of America Center, San Francisco

Bank of America Center, San Francisco

In 2008, shortly after the financial crisis hit, I offered my legal services to distressed homeowners to negotiate loan modifications.

I felt I could provide my clients great services in this area due to my negotiating and writing skills developed from years of settling litigated disputes and writing persuasive motions and appellate briefs.

I learned very quickly, however, that the “loan modification process” was a farce.   The banks’ advertisements about their purported desire to help borrowers were patently false, mere propaganda fed to the American Public at cost of most likely millions of dollars in advertising dollars.

The collapse of Wall Street and the U.S. & World economies didn’t seem to daunt the financial industry’s  greed or audacity one bit.  (See e.g Aritcle re: bank executives multi-million dollar bonuses after bail out)

My experience with “negotiating” loan modifications for my clients was very much like what Congresswoman Maxine Waters’ experienced. (See video of Maxine Waters:  Behind the Bank’s Verbiage on Loan Modification

After our U.S. Congress rushed to the banks’ rescue with multi-billion dollar bail outs, it eventually passed some legislation purporting to help American Homeowners.   As we have seen since then, however, these programs have been deemed failures.   See:  Hope For Homeowners Offer Limited Hope;   See article why Home Affordable Modification Program [HAMP] is a failure.

The program titles were mere puffery; the substance of these governmental programs lacked any “teeth”.   But why does that surprise anyone since our own U.S. Congress members admit the banks are running the U.S. Congress.

So who can help Americans? Or rather how can American help themselves?

One organization which seems to be able to buck the power of the banks and help homeowners get reasonable loan modifications is the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA).

NACA is a non-profit HUD Certified organization which represents itself to be the largest and most powerful and effective advocate for homeowners in the country.

What makes NACA succeed where our Legislature has failed?   First, its probably due to NACA’s CEO Bruce Marks’ passion and commitment to fight abuse by the financial industry.  Second, NACA relies upon public support and active participation which it claims is critical to its success.

For example in 2009  NACA and over 350 homeowners protested at some of the lenders’ CEOs’ estate homes demanding the banks take responsibility for the financial carnage they created.  Also, Bruce Marks and homeowners frequently protest against banks at congressional hearings (see video protesting during testimony by Chase Bank).

These controversial tactics and publicity, however, have worked.  NACA has contracts with major lenders and servicers who are participating in NACA’s Save the Dream Tour and  giving loan modifications.  Participating Lenders include Bank of America, Chase (includes EMC and Washington Mutual), Citigroup, Wells Fargo, GMAC, HSBC, and Indy Mac/OneWest,.

Now, however, the Banks want to take Mr. Marks and NACA down, and apparently, their pressure on the government is working because HUD’s Secretary Shaun Donovan  is proposing the defunding of NACA which would put an end to what appears to be the most effective loan modification assistance for Americans.

What can you do?   Speak out and defend NACA.  Call and e-mail HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithnerand.

NACA suggest some good questions to ask are:

Why is HUD trying to destroy NACA, the most successful program to prevent foreclosures?

Why won’t it meet with NACA over this issue?

Why do you propose to defund NACA when the government’s own programs purporting to “help” American homeowners have been failures?

Instead of destroying NACA why don’t the government programs learn from NACA’s success?

HUD Secretary  Shaun Donovan  can be contacted via e-mail  Shaun.1.donovan@hud.gov  or phone: (202) 708-1979

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner can be contacted by  e-mail:  Timothy.Geithner@do.treas.gov  or phone number (202) 622.1100.

Call or e-mail your Congressperson and Senator as well.

To join NACA’s Defense Committee contact NACA at email:  Defenders@NACA.com or call its Campaign Coordinator, Daniel Perez at (617) 250.6222 ext. 1218.

Per NACA:  “Your Support is Crucial – Defend NACA”

To volunteer at NACA’s Milwaukee Save The Dream Event attend the August 4th Volunteer Meeting at Frontier Airlines Center at , at 4th Street & Wisconsin Avenue

“I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property – until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”
Thomas Jefferson, 1802

For further information on volunteering at a Save the Dream Event, contact Ruth Saldana at rsaldana@naca.com.   Go to NACA.com for schedule of Save the Dream Tour.

Loan Modifications – NACA’s Save the Dream Tour – Who Qualifies – What to Bring



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