Don’t Validate Theft of Mortgage Funds

Luis Alvarado
President of Familas Unidas de California

Imagine the outcry from individuals and groups who dedicate their lives to helping the less fortunate if they found out their state government stole more than $330 million that was aimed to help those hurt from the mortgage crisis.

Well, image no more as Governor Jerry Brown and some Legislative Democrats have devised a scheme to legalize an illegal act when they raided a fund to the tune of $331 million in 2012 to backfill budget deficits for various pet projects.

That fund, the National Mortgage Special Deposit Fund (NMSDF) was established in 2012, under the direction of then Attorney General Kamala Harris, to help those homeowners, primarily the poor and people of color, who were suffering and adversely impacted by the housing crisis.

The governor was immediately sued by a coalition of groups such as “Occupy Wall Street” and the “One Percent,” in court to get the money put back into this fund. In June 2015, a Sacramento County Superior Court judge ruled that the funds were “unlawfully transferred and must be returned.”

The Gov. Brown appealed that ruling and in July the Third District Court of Appeals upheld the lower court’s ruling and ordered that the money be returned to help those homeowners who suffered through foreclosures.

Not satisfied with the ruling, Gov. Brown and some Legislative Democrats have decided to make this illegal act legal, by passing Assembly Bill 1829 in the last days of session.

Over the years there have been many sneaky, back-room actions perpetrated on the people of California, but stealing money intended to help people damaged by what so many called “predatory lenders” and “Wall Street” is probably among the lowest actions ever.

What’s should really alarm those who have dedicated their lives to helping the less fortunate is when the theft has been called out by the courts and this Legislature has a chance to make things right, to return the relief funds to the people they were supposed to help, Governor Brown and some Democrats not only can’t acknowledge the wrongness of the theft, they’re actually legitimizing it.

The action taken by passing AB 1829 would be just another example of Governor Brown and Democrats turning their back on all those California homeowners who have lost so much during the mortgage crisis.

Luis Alvarado is President of Familias Unidas de California. This organization provides awareness and seeks to improve wellness in the Latino community, by focusing on issues of poverty, immigration reform, health care, and quality education.

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