I have been a foreclosure defense advocate since 2011. I first testified in Olympia on this issue then. I then trained as a paralegal because I thought that justice would be found in the courtroom. I soon discovered that he who has the most money wins. I then pivoted and now mostly advocate for homeowners via WA State Foreclosure Fairness Act mediation program where borrowers with the help of an aggressive advocate can avoid unnecessary foreclosure AND unnecessary litigation. I have been very successful resolving mortgages there. But it is hard work. The banks like to just go through the motions because the homeowners have little leverage. It should not be this hard!
Before doing this work, I did extensive research and what I uncovered was massive corruption and the theft of 40% of middle class wealth via the mortgaged backed security system and the post-bailout foreclosure of 15 million families and counting in this country. That is the entire population of Canada : man woman and a couple kids. That does not even speak to the job loss and other economic impact. 40% of middle class wealth was extracted.
MOST of these people were preyed upon. I have heard countless stories of bank abuse. Most of these people were told to stop paying to qualify for HAMP, not knowing what would happen next and 82% were later denied the modifications and foreclosed upon.
I wrote about what I saw here.
Few homeowners challenge the issue in court because they lack the resources and the case law works against them. The few that do, find little help there as the courts summarily find in favor of the banks, despite massive evidence of their abuses of our system and their customers. Banks have deep pockets. Homeowners do not.
This has impacted our country’s economy, state budgets, and individuals. It has literally destroyed lives. We are now experiencing the fallout. We have increased crime, homelessness, mental health issues and a host of other problems that we now must deal with. Meanwhile the banks have enjoyed the spoils and the state governments have enjoyed settlement money (hush) money as they look the other way.
Greece is the canary in the mine as they too suffered. Iceland dealt with it and is recovering. The US has not.
BILL WELD “GETS IT”
I have been challenged to get any state politician to listen and respond. Bernie Sanders references it but his solutions are misguided. Bill Weld responded. In a private conversation, he asserted that a Johnson/ Weld administration would be prosecuting where appropriate and responding to this issue, after all Gov. Weld was a prosecutor and known for prosecuting corruption. I asked him if he might be concerned about making this a campaign plank because of the immense power of the banks. His response: “I ain’t afraid of banks.” This told me a lot and those 5 words secured my support.
If you are tired of the control of “too big to fail” banks and the corruption, Johnson and Weld are your guys. They get it. In an environment where there are so many other issues, to me this is THE ISSUE. People who have lost their wealth, property and power to the banks are not free. Families have lost everything and this is why you see millennials decry the capitalist system: because of what they saw their parents go through. But this is not capitalism. It is corporate socialism: privatized profits and socialized losses. This is socialism at its worst. Why would we want a bigger and more powerful government controlled by their very interests that destroyed our middle class?
We do not need to break up the banks, as Bernie puts it. We do not need more government programs or “free stuff”. We need to enforce the law. We need attorney generals that will protect the people from abuse. We need public officials who will not turn a blind eye and then wring their hands over the consequences and demand more taxes. It is a proper function of government to protect it citizens from enemies foreign and domestic, and that my friends is it is very Libertarian.
Support Johnson and Weld. They are America’s hope. They get “it’.
- Michelle Darnell