By Darrick Meneken
With Election Day arriving Nov. 4, we’ve already heard a lot about
the major-party presidential candidates. But where do they stand on
mortgage-industry issues? Here’s what they’ve said on the record.
Each month, Helping Hands features a
mortgage professional or group that has
volunteered to lend a hand to others in need
Sen. John McCain
Sen. Barack Obama
By Ivanna C. Sukkar
Name Sharbel Shamoon, vice president of sales, American Street Mortgage Co.
The action Congress took … to address our financial
crisis was a tourniquet, but not a permanent solution.
Our economy is still hurting. … We need to restore
confidence in our economy and in our government.
(Speech in Albuquerque, N.M., Oct. 6)
The rescue package … is not the end of our efforts
to deal with the economy; it’s just the beginning. …
We’re going to have to move on an aggressive plan to
deal with some of the underlying structural problems
in the economy. (Interview in Asheville, N.C., Oct. 6)
The role of government is to help the truly needy, prevent systemic economic risk and enact reforms that
prevent the kind of crisis we are currently experiencing from ever happening again. Those reforms should
focus on improving transparency and accountability
in our capital markets. (“Statement By John McCain on the
Housing Crisis,” March 27)
It’s time to get serious about regulatory oversight.
Over the last few years, commercial banks and thrift
institutions were subject to guidelines on subprime
mortgages that did not apply to mortgage brokers and
companies. When it comes to protecting the American people, it should make no difference what kind
of institution they are dealing with. (Speech in Golden,
Colo., Sept. 16)
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
Project American StreetBall Classic charity basketball
tournament and silent auction
How This past Aug. 2, American Street Mortgage partnered with the Latin United Community Housing Association (LUCHA) to host the American StreetBall
Classic charity basketball tournament and silent auction
in downtown Chicago.
American Street donated a portion of the event’s proceeds to LUCHA, a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-certified counseling agency that offers
housing-related services to Chicago-area residents.
We will make sure that they are permanently restructured and downsized and no longer use taxpayer
backing to serve lobbyists, management, boards and
shareholders. ( The Wall Street Journal, Sept. 9)
Going forward, we need to replace Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as we know them with a structure that is focused on helping people buy homes — not engaging in
market speculation. (Speech in Golden, Colo., Sept. 16)
Lenders who initiate loans should be held accountable
for the quality and performance of those loans; and
strict standards should be required in the lending process. (Speech at Orange County, Calif., Hispanic Small-Business
Roundtable, March 25)
They should actively look at all borrowers, offer workouts and reduce the principal on mortgages in trouble.
(Speech at Cooper Union, N. Y., March 27)
Sharbel Shamoon (center), vice president of sales for American Street Mortgage Co., presents Latin United
Community Association Director of Marketing and Fundraising Gabriela Roman (left) and Executive Director
Juan B. Rivera with a check from the proceeds of American Street’s Aug. 2 basketball tournament and
silent auction. Photo: American Street Mortgage Co.
I’d like for you to be able to go down to the post office
and get an application that applies for an FHA 30-year
guaranteed loan at the new value of your home and that
you have those payments adjusted to that level so that
you can afford the payments to remain in your home.
(John McCain Virtual Town Hall Meeting, Aug. 8)
I’ve … proposed a H.O.M.E. [Homeowner Obligation
Made Explicit] Score system that would create a simplified, standardized metric for home mortgages … allowing
prospective buyers to easily compare various mortgage
products so they can find out whether they can afford the
payments. (Speech at NASDAQ, Sept. 17, 2007)
Our regulatory system must protect consumers and
investors by punishing individuals who engage in
fraud, break contracts or lie to customers — like the
predatory lenders who know you can’t afford an adjustable-rate mortgage but mislead you into signing
one. These actions are criminal, and the people who
commit them should be behind bars. (Speech in Green
Bay, Wis., Sept. 19)
I’ve proposed updating the current mortgage rules to establish a federal definition of mortgage fraud and enact
tough penalties against lenders who knowingly act in bad
faith. … For homeowners who are victims of fraud, I’ve
proposed a $10 billion foreclosure-prevention fund that
would help them sell a home that is beyond their means
or modify their loan. (Speech at NASDAQ, Sept. 17, 2007, and
speech at Cooper Union, N. Y., March 27)
The 13 teams that competed in the tournament included
American Street employees, their friends and their families, plus others who joined by word-of-mouth.
The tournament’s participants and more than 50 other
business sponsors donated gifts for the auction or money
for the event — ranging from $25 to $300, Shamoon says.
Further, he says professional athletes from the Chicago
Bulls, the Chicago Bears and the Chicago Cubs donated
autographs for the auction.
Why After participating in other sports-based charity
events, American Street decided to host its own to benefit
the housing industry, Shamoon says.
The company chose LUCHA because of the association’s
role in helping Chicago-area homeowners who are facing
foreclosure and who are in “desperate need,” he says.
[A mortgage document] should be one sheet of paper —
and big letters at the bottom that say, “I understand
this document.” (“Good Morning America,” April 1)
I believe we should finally enact the meaningful mort-gage-disclosure laws that the mortgage industry
has been lobbying against for far too long. (Speech at
NASDAQ, Sept. 17, 2007)
Financial institutions need to fully disclose their losses …
only then can regulators and rating agencies really do
their jobs. (“Statement By John McCain On
America’s Credit Crunch,” March 11)
There should be an immediate investigation of the relationship and business practices of rating agencies and
their clients. (Speech at NASDAQ, Sept. 17, 2007)
Impact Together, Shamoon says, the basketball tournament and silent auction raised $3,000 for LUCHA.
Gabriela Roman, LUCHA’s director of marketing and
fundraising, says her group will use the funds to help the
increasing number of families dealing with foreclosure.
“Previously, we saw an average of 20 families a year facing
foreclosure,” she says. “Now, we are helping 250 families,”
Shamoon says that American Street plans to host this event
annually, with plans to raise $10,000 for LUCHA next year.
All quotes from 2008, unless noted
Photo: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images (left); Joe Raedle/Getty Images News/Getty Images
www.lucha.org or (773) 276-5338
Darrick Meneken is an associate editor at Scotsman Guide. Reach him at (800) 297-6061 or email@example.com.
Ivanna C. Sukkar is an associate editor at Scotsman Guide.
Reach her at (800) 297-6061 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To share your company’s story, e-mail email@example.com.