Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Republicans question BofA settlement funding 'activist groups'

Republican lawmakers are questioning a requirement in recent U.S. Justice Department settlements with lenders, including Bank of America's $16.7 billion accord, that the banks donate money to housing counseling agencies, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

The Journal reports that the lawmakers want to know how the Justice Department determined that the banks, including Citigroup, be required to donate money to the housing counseling agencies approved by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Here's an excerpt from the story:

The groups are meant to help homeowners avoid foreclosure. But in a letter dated Tuesday and reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, Rep. Bob Goodlatte of Virginia and Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas describe some of the nonprofits, such as National Council of La Raza and NeighborWorks America, as left-wing “activist groups.”

In their letter, the lawmakers also point out that Bank of America and Citigroup get extra credit toward meeting their consumer-relief obligations when they donate to the housing groups: a $2 credit for every $1 donated. The banks get less credit for actions like forgiving mortgage principal for homeowners who owe more than their homes are worth.

“The settlements appear to serve as a vehicle for funding activist groups rather than as a means of securing relief for consumers actually harmed,” wrote Mr. Goodlatte, who is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and Mr. Hensarling, who is chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.

The Justice Department didn’t immediately have a comment, the Journal said.

The Journal also points out that the required donations are a relatively small part of the settlements.

Bank of America must donate at least $20 million to the housing-counseling agencies, out of $7 billion set aside for consumer relief in its settlement. Citigroup, which reached a $7 billion settlement this year, is required to donate at least $10 million, out of $2.5 billion set aside for consumer relief.


Anonymous said...

LOL, Democrats, Democrats, Democrats! Once again caught with their fingers taking money for politics. There is no reason for banks to give money left wing organizations.

Every dime should be taken back and someone should do a serious investigation of every federal agency doing business in this nation. We have become a nation filled with left wing activist.

Personally I will not vote Democrats for a very, very long time, if ever. I probably will never vote Democrat again and I come from a very long list of Democrats in my family. This crooked administration has convinced me that most of them should be in prison when they leave office.

Some serious investigations should take place starting January of 2017 so that future administrations will know we will not tolerate the Chicago style politics ever again.

John said...

"The Journal also points out that the required donations are a relatively small part of the settlements."

Translation: "as long as the graft is relatively small, it doesn't count..."

Obama makes Richard Nixon look like a saint... and Yes, I am old enough to remember Watergate VERY well.

Archiguy said...

Oh, grow up. Nobody commenting here knows anything about those groups. They may serve a valuable function for people the GOP cares nothing about, i.e. the middle or lower classes.

The only reason these two Republicans are complaining is because the largess isn't directed toward groups they DO care about. Like more tax breaks for billionaires, for example. Because those poor dears just don't ever get enough breaks.

And speaking of billions as opposed to millions, the Bush administration funneled over a billion dollars down the abstinence rathole. Remember that? It was supposed to lower the teen pregnancy rate by convincing hormonally driven young people to abstain from sex until marriage. It had a 98% failure rate, according to surveys of the teens that participated. But somebody, presumably conservative evangelical groups friendly to the GOP, got very, very rich because of it.

So please, enough with the false piety and more piling on President Obama. He's a good man, and likely twice as intelligent as the last occupant of that office. And he gave your sorry butts a significant payroll tax cut (if you even work), which is a heckuva lot more than Bush ever did for any member of the middle class over his entire 8 years in office.

John said...


You are drooling again. Go home and take your meds.

jrobinson said...

Oh poor Archie. He's believed all those myths about the Democrats being saints, and the Republicans were devils. Life was so much easier when you had Bush to blame, eh?

1) "tax breaks for billionaires" - oh spare us that meme. The only people who have saw increased income in the ObamaConomy have been the uber-rich.

2) It wasn't a billion dollars. But there have been HUNDREDS of billions that were blown on failed green energy projects, that all gave nice big fat parachutes to the obama-connected when they crashed.

3) You forget the one thing that that abstinence survey showed: it wasn't anymore effective than any other educational method, but it wasn't any worse, either. In other words, kids are gonna have sex. And we can't really stop them.

Anonymous said...

Amazing how liberals and Dems still cant bring themselves to criticize any of Obama and Holders tactics. Anything goes as long as he wears the political party colors.

Valen said...

Let's see who gets to benefit from the settlement. Like other settlements there has been little clarity as to how the settlements are being distributed. I'm sure a great deal of renovating of government offices, commissions established to work out how to spend the money and bonuses paid to employees will take care of this cash to a greater extent. I bet no one will need a payday loan fast approval.