FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release – August 18, 2014
Ricardo Herrera, Director of Communications, Cell: 704-962-1605; email@example.com
Tim Trumble, Media Coordinator, Cell: 704-451-8502; firstname.lastname@example.org
NACA CHALLENGES EFFECTIVENESS OF BANK OF AMERICA SETTLEMENT
(Boston, MA – August 18, 2014) – The soon to be announced $16-$17 billion settlement between Bank of America and the Justice Department will be the largest of the recent wave of settlements resulting from the banks’ misconduct that resulted in the economic meltdown. If past settlements are any reflection on the Bank of America settlement, it will provide little if any real help to stabilize and increase home ownership. The government first gave the banks billions of dollars in the TARP bailout, and now the banks are giving the government billions in fines in what is nothing more than a shell game to generate PR buzz for themselves while the American homeowner has been kicked to the curb.
Just as with past settlements, it’s unlikely that any of the money from this settlement will actually benefit homeowners. Banks have actually been given credit in past settlements for actions such as Short Sales, doing the exact opposite of the purported intention of helping people stay in their homes. Instead, the money should be used to help with principal write-downs, bringing past due loans current and helping low and middle income borrowers get fair and affordable mortgages.
Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA) Founder and CEO Bruce Marks stated, “The devil is in the details and the devil in this case is the government since they haven’t really done anything to help homeowners.”
Mr. Marks has been at the forefront of advocacy for homeowners since founding the organization in Boston in 1988. He has testified before Congress on numerous occasions, including a warning about the coming mortgage crisis as early as September of 2000 and was named “Bostonian of the Year” in 2007.
Mr. Marks has
- Led groups of thousands in protest of banks’ predatory lending practices.
- Created the first-ever housing trust fund causing changes to the Taft-Hartley Act.
- Created the unique “America’s Best Mortgage” program, providing fixed below market rate mortgages to low and middle income borrowers with no down payment and no closing costs.
- Conducted more than 150 “American Dream” events that have brought about mortgage modifications to more than 250,000 homeowners across the country.
- Carved out legally binding agreements with all the major lenders to provide mortgage modifications for struggling homeowners.
NACA is the nation’s largest HUD certified counseling agency, founded in 1988, providing roughly 30% of all the housing counseling in the country. Mr. Marks has remained the country’s foremost advocate for home ownership, and was recently referred to by The New York Times as “The Homebuyer’s Champion”.