Karen Westmont 
Member since Oct 3, 2019


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Re: “Kamala Harris, For Which People?

I suggest looking at former Attorney General Harris's weak action in the Foreclosure Crisis, inaction despite many possible avenues.

a) The AG should have challenged the many violations of basic contract law in both sub-prime and predatory lenders' coerced promissory notes.

b) The state could have prosecuted the steering of well-qualified borrowers into unnecessary sub-prime rate loans. Practices were so bad that the Federal Reserve Bank itself was shocked.

c) The AG could have prosecuted the targeting by race for loan predation.

d) the AG could have prosecuted the myriad of bad practices of lenders during foreclosure itself. In CA, home loans are secured by deeds of trust that avoid judges' intervention to protect the borrower. (No, despite the word occasionally appearing in CA law, CA does not have mortgages that require judge oversight.)

e) The AG could have advocated predation prevention by proposing changes to CA's unusual reliance on Deeds of Trust (about 11 states only) that circumvent the courts in foreclosure. In other states, judges stopped evictions, thereby dis-incentivizing lenders' bad practices.

Many of the worst lenders had connections in California: Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Countrywide. Others were the darlings of Wall Street bankers or of CA, the main-line banks' affiliated 'mortgage' packagers.

In fairness, not just AG Harris, but all responsible departments in California failed to act in the foreclosure crisis with too-late laws and
ultimately going after the tiniest of fish. Whereas California failed to understand the vulnerability of its home buyers, many states in the 1990s acted to preempt predatory practices and succeeded so well that the Bush Administration moved to preempt state actions.

Posted by Karen Westmont on 10/03/2019 at 3:34 PM

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