Las Vegas Sun

April 18, 2019

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2008 Elections

Democrats on Foreclosures


Hillary Clinton
Clinton has publicly laid partial blame on Wall Street for the foreclosure crisis that many borrowers have found themselves in this past year. She pointed at the apathy of the Wall Street brokers who backed the mortgages that were inherently “designed to fail.” She one-upped President Bush’s plan that put a five-year freeze on sub-prime mortgages, which will provide both borrowers and the market time to catch up with a legally authorized delayed payment period of 90 days. Unlike Bush’s five-year freeze, Clinton’s would also extend to all sub-prime borrowers and even some who are late with payments. In addition, she asked that $7 billion be given to those sub-prime borrowers suffering the most from foreclosures. Clinton lambasted mortgage lenders for “aggressively” pursuing borrowers who did not know any better. Clinton insists that her plan is a “comprehensive work-out, not a bail-out.”… more. | Other issues | Bio


Barack Obama
One of the first presidential candidates - on either side of the aisle - to publicly speak out against the economic distress of the subprime mortgage crisis, Obama put out a statement in September laying out his plans to aid those in distress due to the sub-prime loan crisis. He wanted to implement a government relief fund, change bankruptcy law and offer a new tax credit on mortgage interest for those that don’t itemize or simply aren’t able to deduct their interest payments from their tax returns. On Sept. 17, 2007, Obama appeared at the NASDAQ MarketSite to make a speech about the rising foreclosures amongst subprime mortgages. Obama likened the crisis to Enron and asked that Wall Street make “shared sacrifices” to avoid the same type of “crisis in confidence” that Enron produced. He urged the government, who had not yet agreed upon a solution, to investigate lender-client relationships and help borrowers come out from under their mortgages. His plan to aid subprime borrowers is hinged on his overall economical plan to simplify America’s tax code and close the loopholes that corporations enjoy under the current tax code; shifting the burden from the middle class.… more. | Other issues | Bio


Mike Gravel
Gravel has not spoken extensively on the subject. Other issues | Bio


John Edwards (dropped out)
Edwards’ plan to help those in subprime foreclosure is one that he closely links to his campaign theme to end what he sees as the growing economic disparity between the rich and the poor in America. On his Web site, Edwards laid out a plan to fight predatory lending and protect home ownership. His plan includes introducing a national law prohibiting all lenders from offering predatory mortgages, provide relief to borrowers before foreclosure occurs through a Home Rescue Fund, holding home owners and lenders accountable and adding mortgage pay-off into bankruptcy laws. In response to Bush’s plan to put a five-year freeze on interest rates, Edwards has suggested a seven-year interest rate freeze. Still, Edwards has come under accusation with the subprime foreclosure crisis because of his financial ties with Fortress Investment Group. The group has invested in two mortgage companies (Nation Star Mortgage and Green Tree Lending) that have foreclosed on many homes in the past year. Edwards denies any affiliation with the group and points to his life-long work with underprivileged children and families.… more. | Other issues | Bio


Dennis Kucinich (dropped out)
Dennis Kucinich headed a congressional Domestic Policy Subcommittee hearing to discuss predatory mortgage, payday lending and foreclosures. Shortly after, Kucinich requested a public hearing regarding a bank acquisition in the 10th congressional district in Ohio, which he represents, to call to attention the disappearance of depository bank branches. He believes the destruction of such facilities has ushered in “a a national crisis” of vast foreclosures, predatory mortgage and payday lending. He conducted a walk-through of Cleveland slums hit hardest by the mortgage crisis in order to call media and government attention to the issue. In an interview with PBS’ Judy Woodruff, Kucinich said the federal reserve has not had proper oversight of banks and the Secuities and Exchange Commission has not had proper oversight of hedge funds.… more. | Other issues | Bio


Bill Richardson (dropped out)
Bill Richardson has called numerous times for bankruptcy protection for primary homes, as well as a rate freeze on “the worst subprime loans” with adjustable rates. He has criticized President George W. Bush and Congress for a lack of leadership and for allowing too much self-regulation by the market. The New Mexico governor claims a record of protecting homeowners and borrowers, citing the state’s low rate of foreclosures. As governor, he fought for New Mexico’s Home Loan Protection Act. As president, Richardson wishes to act aggressively against the housing crisis by reforming bankruptcy laws, temporarily freezing the introductory rates on some adjustable-rate loans, insist on transparency within the housing industry and extending the time debtors have to repay their mortgages, among other things.… more. | Other issues | Bio


Joe Biden (dropped out)
Joe Biden sees impending foreclosures as a serious problem for the economy and he has warned that nobody knows the depth of the issue. “I think it’s almost as deep in terms of dollars, not liability, as the savings and loan crisis,” he said in August. Biden advocates a comprehensive solution to fight impending foreclosures by allowing bankruptcy judges to modify loans including interest and time frames for repayment; cracking down on predatory lenders, unscrupulous brokers and abusive penalties that trap people in bad mortgages and strengthening the Federal Housing Administration’s ability to counsel families facing foreclosure and help them refinance with federally backed loans. During the Democratic primary debate in August, he called for more transparency, particularly in regard to hedge funds and private equity funds, and more accountability. Biden wishes to encourage lenders to modify loans and freeze their interest rates beyond the freezing proposal made by the Bush Administration. He criticized Bush’s reaction to the subprime mortgage crisis, saying that “short-term patches and half measures that just help a tiny fraction of people just aren’t good enough.”.… more. | Other issues | Bio


Chris Dodd (dropped out)
As Senate Banking Committee Chairman, Dodd has been involved with the subprime mortgage crisis longer than other presidential candidates. On his Senate home-page, Dodd announced his invite to the CEOs from the top five subprime lenders to answer questioning from his committee in March. At the hearing, Dodd called the lending practices of the companies “unconscionable and deceptive.” But he placed real blame on the Federal Reserve Board for not being the watchdog that it should have been for Americans. As a result of his hearings, Dodd was able to get $100 million to put toward foreclosure prevention. His plan as president to provide a safer market for prospective home buyers includes stabilizing the mortgage ad financial markets to increase opportunities for Americans to become homeowners and protecting homeowners from predatory lenders. In addition Dodd plans to reform the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and credit agencies.… more. | Other issues | Bio


Las Vegas Sun new media managing editor Dave Toplikar and interns Jenna Kohler and April Corbin contributed to this report.

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