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Mortgage Bankers to Face Protests

Mortgage Bankers to Face ProtestsRally being held at MBA National Policy Conference

April 8, 2008

By NATALIE MERRILL

Mortgage bankers are prepared for a protest by consumer groups at an upcoming conference being held in the nation’s capitol.

The Ad Hoc National Network Against Home Foreclosures and Evictions group is rallying to protest in front of the Mortgage Bankers Association National Policy Conference on Wednesday, April 16 at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington, D.C.

The protesting group comprises activists in 22 states across the country, and it seeks to “shake up the bankers and wake up the government,” according to a flyer on the group’s Web site, by calling for a moratorium on foreclosures and evictions from the House and Senate Banking and Finance Committees for homeowners. A petition for this proposal for a moratorium can be found online.

The MBA seeks to influence policymakers at the conference in decisions concerning the mortgage industry. MBA Chairman Kieran P. Quinn, CMB, said in an audio statement on MBA’s Web site that there has never been a more pertinent time than the present to bring in lawmakers to the industry. Quinn said the way to be an influence in the legislation is to attend the conference and follow in line with the policies the MBA wants to see.

“Mortgage lenders need to make a dramatic statement in support of FHA modernization, GSE reform and for a true, uniform national standard for laws to combat predatory lending, among other issues,” Quinn said in the audio commentary.

Quinn also said he thinks this conference will be a good way for the MBA and fellow members of the real estate finance industry to clear up the belief that all in the business have “acted, at best, irresponsibly.”

“In all my years as a mortgage lender, I cannot remember a time when the industry I love has been so badly misunderstood and maligned,” he said.

But the Ad Hoc National Network protestors do not feel the same way. These advocates for homeowners are living by the motto: “Bailout people, before bankers,” as the group’s flyer promotes.

This is not the first of such demonstrations in front of the MBA. Last month, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, held a protest at an MBA convention in Chicago by disrupting a Power Point presentation and listing off demands sought, which included a bill for foreclosure prevention.

In what Ad Hoc National Network Against Home Foreclosures and Evictions calls “a national emergency that calls for emergency measures,” according to the flyer, the group plans to load buses on April 16 to stake the protest outside of the hotel near Capitol Hill in its effort to convince the policymakers that a moratorium on foreclosures and evictions is the way to go.

But MBA spokesman John Mechem said the organization always tries to be ready for whatever it may face, including opposition.

“We are coordinating with the hotel to ensure that our conference goes on without a hitch” Mechem said.


Natalie Merrill is a staff writer for MortgageDaily.com with a Journalism degree from Southern Methodist University.

e-mail: merrill.natalie@yahoo.com


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