from an article by Elliot Spitzer:
"Several years ago, state attorneys general and others involved in consumer protection began to notice a marked increase in a range of predatory
lending practices by mortgage lenders. Some were misrepresenting the terms of loans, making loans without regard to consumers' ability to repay,
making loans with deceptive "teaser" rates that later ballooned astronomically, packing loans with undisclosed charges and fees, or even paying
illegal kickbacks. These and other practices, we noticed, were having a devastating effect on home buyers. In addition, the widespread nature of these
practices, if left unchecked, threatened our financial markets"...
"Let me explain: The administration accomplished this feat through an obscure federal agency called the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
(OCC). The OCC has been in existence since the Civil War. Its mission is to ensure the fiscal soundness of national banks. For 140 years, the OCC
examined the books of national banks to make sure they were balanced, an important but uncontroversial function. But a few years ago, for the first
time in its history, the OCC was used as a tool against consumers.
In 2003, during the height of the predatory lending crisis, the OCC invoked a clause from the 1863 National Bank Act to issue formal opinions
preempting all state predatory lending laws, thereby rendering them inoperative. The OCC also promulgated new rules that prevented states from
enforcing any of their own consumer protection laws against national banks. The federal government's actions were so egregious and so unprecedented
that all 50 state attorneys general, and all 50 state banking superintendents, actively fought the new rules.
But the unanimous opposition of the 50 states did not deter, or even slow, the Bush administration in its goal of protecting the banks. In fact, when
my office opened an investigation of possible discrimination in mortgage lending by a number of banks, the OCC filed a federal lawsuit to stop the
Hm, you think maybe that's why Spitzer was "outed"? He was a thorn in the side of Big Govt.
Pacificwind and those who agree with him/her - I may not be financially secure, but at least I have compassion. You are living in a fantasy world of
govt. propaganda, it's what they want you to believe. But it's nothing more than blaming the victim. All may be pristine in your little white-washed
world, but it isn't the reality of many, many Americans and it's getting worse for them.
When rent is $800 a month, heat is $300 a month (thanks to Enron it went from S$100 to $300 a month) water is $45 a month, PG&E is S$70 a month and
you only take home $1,400 a month - how do you pay all of your bills? This is exactly what happened to me. I had to move and rent had gone up (with no
rent control). I worked as a transcriptionist for an insurance agency, a professional occupation, and that's what happened to me. I went months
without hot water and had to take cold showers - in a place that got down to 17 degrees in the winter. I have a Master's degree and I have worked
since I was 12 (in my dad's office).
It wasn't always this way. Wages haven't increased, but bills have.
Don't judge the poor unless you've been there and walked in their shoes.