Monday, September 6, 2010

Obama and the Housing Market

This case has received a good deal of press and blogger attention because one of the plaintiffs’ lawyers was Barack Obama, then just a couple of years out of law school.

U.S. District Court Judge Ruben Castillo certified the plaintiffs’ suit as a class action on June 30, 1995. Buycks-Roberson v. Citibank Fed. Sav. Bank, 162 F.R.D. 322 (N.D. Ill. 1995). Also on June 30, Judge Castillo granted Plaintiffs’ motion to compel discovery of a sample of Defendant-bank’s loan application files. Buycks-Roberson v. Citibank Fed. Sav. Bank, 162 F.R.D. 338 (N.D. Ill. 1995).

The parties settled the case on May 12, 1998, with an agreement that provided for waiver of some fees for class members, should they reapply for a loan, and also for various procedures to ensure that Citibank followed its own loan policies in a race neutral way. They count on corporations settling rather than facing lengthy litigation.

Here are the lawyers listed in the legal briefs, including Barack Hussein Obama:
Obama, Barack H. (Illinois)

Wickert, John Henry (Illinois)
FH-IL-0011-0007 FH-IL-0011-0008 FH-IL-0011-9000
In the Dismissal of appeals by Citibanks the following people are listed as being the plaintiffs:

Selma Buycks-Roberson
Calvin Roberson
Renee Brooks

Citibank was forced to pay the lawyers, including Barack Hussein Obama, $950,000 plus they were forced to loosen loan requirements which led directly to the mortgage crisis. This was part of the strategy to overwhelm the system, to bankrupt the system in an attempt to create a crisis.
As part of his reward for being a loyal “purple solider”, Obama was supported by SEIU funds/manpower massively in PA according to the New York Times.

In 2007 Obama “rocked the house” at an SIEU events According to the article, “SEIU’s members are temperamentally suited to Obama; he is a longtime friend of Chicago’s SEIU Local 880 and worked closely with the union as an organizer and later as a state legislator.”

Also the article include this:
“But the real key in passing universal health care is the ability to bring people together in a process that is open and transparent and builds real consensus, and I’ve got a track record of doing that.”

Obama implied that one of his opponents in the Democratic primary, John Edwards was a Johnny-come-lately.

“I’ve spent my entire adult life working with SEIU. I’m not a newcomer to this,” Obama said. “I didn’t suddenly discover SEIU on the campaign trail. Oh, y’all organize. You wear purple, do you?” he said, referring to the spirit color the SEIU has chosen.

The article says that Obama was well known to have worked with Local SIEU 880 which has SHARED offices with ACORN in Chicago where, apparently, Obama worked in SOME capacity as an organizer.

SEIU Local 880 and ACORN in Chicago (at 650 S. Clark Street, Chicago). Additionally, the National ACORN Housing Corporation is located at this address.

In a 2005 report ACORN’s office noted that the SEIU, which shared its local office, was a “sister union.”

According to NPR, SEIU was founded by now discredited ACORN founder Wade Rafke.

In 2002 the People’s Weekly detailed how the Local 880 of the SEIU and ACORN worked closely together.

seiu-acorn-obama connection on 57th state- Bill Collier- is on BTR today 10 am- est- call in #tcot #tlot #p2 #purplefail


SIEU’s Andy Stern to serve on ACORN’s INTERNAL AUDIT BOARD:

follow freedom at

According to a HISTORY of the SIEU written by Kieth Kelleher, the Head Organizer of the Local 880 of the SIEU, this local SIEU, which helped Obama get into office at the State level and then for his Senate race, is in fact an outgrowth of ACORN. The PDF report is here, however I have saved it in case it disappears.

This is a DIRECT link between the SEIU and ACORN, which is documented further in this article, and the two organizations shared an office in Chicago, where President Obama, as an “organizer” worked with the Local 880, with Wade Rafke as its treasurer, when he came to Chicago in 1995.

The SEIU endorsed President Obama and he spoke very fondly, and specifically, of his ties to this ACORN “offshoot”:
And here
Obama describes what he did as a community organizer:
When I was a young organizer, I had just moved to Chicago. I started with working with SEIU Local 880, home health care workers, to make sure that they were registered to vote. I had a say in the politics in Illinois. When I went to the state legislature, I worked with Tom Balanoff in SEIU to make sure that children who didn’t have health care received it. And we made sure that hospitals report on the quality of care, the staffing ratios that they had set up, and now we’re working together at the federal level to make sure that all Americans, not just some Americans, are allowed to prosper.

Who caused the Financial Crisis?
Posted: Oct. 05, 2008
By: Uncommon Acumen

The POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) Economy: Very Poor
By: Tom Blumer

The Jawa Report: How a Young Chicago Litigator Helped Create the Subprime Housing Crisis
By: The Jawa Report Obama Required Banks to Lend Money to Poor People

Republicans: best for America
By: Jim Fryar

Obama’s Radical Friends: Communists, Marxists, Corrupt Politicians, Racist Mentors and More
Posted: Sep. 29, 2008
By: One American Voice

Obama’s Early Legal Career: Heavy on Advocacy for Blacks
Posted: May. 09, 2008

Obama, CRA, and the Mortgage Mess
Posted: Oct. 10, 2008

Posted: Oct. 12, 2008

Obama Was Co-Counsel Against Citibank in 1994 Suit for “Red-lining” - Can You Say ACORN?
Posted: Oct. 10, 2008

Obama sued Citibank to increase lending to minorities; contributed to subprime housing crisis
Posted: Oct. 19, 2008
By: ObamaWTF.Blogspot.Com

Obama Sued Citibank To Force Them To Make Bad Loans
By: The Urban Grind

More proof about Barack Obama and ACORN
Posted: Oct. 10, 2008
By: My View My Take

How Barack Obama helped cause the subprime mortgage meltdown
Posted: Sep. 24, 2008

Hey America. Wake Up.

Guilty! "Obama Sued Citibank to Force it to Make Bad Loans"
By: Gabrielle Cusumano

Guilty! "Obama Sued Citibank to Force it to Make Bad Loans"
Posted: Oct. 09, 2008
By: WmShirerAdmirer

Further Info
By: J. Brian Terry

Death by Political Correctness
Posted: Oct. 02, 2008

Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland, P.C. (law firm)

Connecting the dots between ACORN, Obama and Voter Fraud
Posted: Oct. 12, 2008

Cloward Piven Strategy - Part 4 - Organizational Affiliations
Posted: Oct. 08, 2008
By: SadimTouch.Wordpress.Com

Barack Obama's Community Work

Barack Obama and Race

Barack Obama and ACORN Sued CitiBank For SubPrime Loans

Barack Obama and ACORN

A Historical Snapshot of Senator Obama and His Accomplishments
Posted: Sep. 12, 2008
By: getright
BY ABDON M. PALLASCH Political Reporter/

The oratorical skills White House hopeful Barack Obama has shown on the stump — and in his “There’s not a black America and white America … there’s the United States of America” speech — would seem to make him a natural for wowing juries.

So why did Obama never make impassioned speeches in court when he returned to Chicago from Harvard Law School in the early ’90s to, as his Web site says, “practice as a civil rights lawyer”?

A review of the cases Obama worked on during his brief legal career shows he played the “strong, silent type” in court, introducing himself and his client, then stepping aside to let other lawyers do the talking…

[After praising Obama for suing on behalf of ACORN for Motor Voter, the following is cited as another of his brilliant victories:]

Fought red-lining

Obama represented Calvin Roberson in a 1994 lawsuit against Citibank, charging the bank systematically denied mortgages to African-American applicants and others from minority neighborhoods.

“I don’t recall him ever standing up and giving an impassioned speech — it was a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff,” said Fay Clayton, the lead lawyer on the case.

“He was the very junior lawyer in that case,” said attorney Robert Kriss. “He had just graduated from law school. I don’t recall him being in court at any time I was there. I was the lead lawyer for Citibank and he was not very visible to me.”

Kriss, Clayton and every other co-counsel and opposing counsel interviewed for this story praised Obama’s legal ability, temperament and everything about his courtroom demeanor, even though, they agree, he didn’t say much in the courtroom. Many are now donors to his campaign.

On Feb. 23, 1995, Obama billed 2 hours and 50 minutes for an appearance before Judge Ruben Castillo on behalf of his client, and also for reviewing some documents in advance of a deposition. That cost Citibank — which ultimately had to pay the winning side’s fees — $467 at Obama’s hourly rate of $165.

Miner commanded the higher rate of $285 an hour. During his appearance before the judge, Obama said he would need more time to file a response to a motion, and the judge agreed. That was all Obama said during the half-hour hearing.

His final bill on the case was 138 hours, or $23,000…
New York Times:
New Agency Proposed to Oversee Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae
September 11, 2003

The Bush administration today recommended the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago.

Under the plan, disclosed at a Congressional hearing today, a new agency would be created within the Treasury Department to assume supervision of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored companies that are the two largest players in the mortgage lending industry.

The new agency would have the authority, which now rests with Congress, to set one of the two capital-reserve requirements for the companies. It would exercise authority over any new lines of business. And it would determine whether the two are adequately managing the risks of their ballooning portfolios.

The plan is an acknowledgment by the administration that oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — which together have issued more than $1.5 trillion in outstanding debt — is broken. A report by outside investigators in July concluded that Freddie Mac manipulated its accounting to mislead investors, and critics have said Fannie Mae does not adequately hedge against rising interest rates.

”There is a general recognition that the supervisory system for housing-related government-sponsored enterprises neither has the tools, nor the stature, to deal effectively with the current size, complexity and importance of these enterprises,” Treasury Secretary John W. Snow told the House Financial Services Committee in an appearance with Housing Secretary Mel Martinez, who also backed the plan.

Mr. Snow said that Congress should eliminate the power of the president to appoint directors to the companies, a sign that the administration is less concerned about the perks of patronage than it is about the potential political problems associated with any new difficulties arising at the companies.

The administration’s proposal, which was endorsed in large part today by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, would not repeal the significant government subsidies granted to the two companies. And it does not alter the implicit guarantee that Washington will bail the companies out if they run into financial difficulty; that perception enables them to issue debt at significantly lower rates than their competitors. Nor would it remove the companies’ exemptions from taxes and antifraud provisions of federal securities laws.

The proposal is the opening act in one of the biggest and most significant lobbying battles of the Congressional session.

After the hearing, Representative Michael G. Oxley, chairman of the Financial Services Committee, and Senator Richard Shelby, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, announced their intention to draft legislation based on the administration’s proposal. Industry executives said Congress could complete action on legislation before leaving for recess in the fall.

”The current regulator does not have the tools, or the mandate, to adequately regulate these enterprises,” Mr. Oxley said at the hearing. ”We have seen in recent months that mismanagement and questionable accounting practices went largely unnoticed by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight,” the independent agency that now regulates the companies.

”These irregularities, which have been going on for several years, should have been detected earlier by the regulator,” he added.

The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, which is part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, was created by Congress in 1992 after the bailout of the savings and loan industry and concerns about regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which buy mortgages from lenders and repackage them as securities or hold them in their own portfolios.

At the time, the companies and their allies beat back efforts for tougher oversight by the Treasury Department, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or the Federal Reserve. Supporters of the companies said efforts to regulate the lenders tightly under those agencies might diminish their ability to finance loans for lower-income families. This year, however, the chances of passing legislation to tighten the oversight are better than in the past.

Reflecting the changing political climate, both Fannie Mae and its leading rivals applauded the administration’s package. The support from Fannie Mae came after a round of discussions between it and the administration and assurances from the Treasury that it would not seek to change the company’s mission.

After those assurances, Franklin D. Raines, Fannie Mae’s chief executive, endorsed the shift of regulatory oversight to the Treasury Department, as well as other elements of the plan.

”We welcome the administration’s approach outlined today,” Mr. Raines said. The company opposes some smaller elements of the package, like one that eliminates the authority of the president to appoint 5 of the company’s 18 board members.

Company executives said that the company preferred having the president select some directors. The company is also likely to lobby against the efforts that give regulators too much authority to approve its products.

Freddie Mac, whose accounting is under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission and a United States attorney in Virginia, issued a statement calling the administration plan a ”responsible proposal.”

The stocks of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae fell while the prices of their bonds generally rose. Shares of Freddie Mac fell $2.04, or 3.7 percent, to $53.40, while Fannie Mae was down $1.62, or 2.4 percent, to $66.74. The price of a Fannie Mae bond due in March 2013 rose to 97.337 from 96.525.Its yield fell to 4.726 percent from 4.835 percent on Tuesday.

Fannie Mae, which was previously known as the Federal National Mortgage Association, and Freddie Mac, which was the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, have been criticized by rivals for exerting too much influence over their regulators.

”The regulator has not only been outmanned, it has been outlobbied,” said Representative Richard H. Baker, the Louisiana Republican who has proposed legislation similar to the administration proposal and who leads a subcommittee that oversees the companies. ”Being underfunded does not explain how a glowing report of Freddie’s operations was released only hours before the managerial upheaval that followed. This is not world-class regulatory work.”

Significant details must still be worked out before Congress can approve a bill. Among the groups denouncing the proposal today were the National Association of Home Builders and Congressional Democrats who fear that tighter regulation of the companies could sharply reduce their commitment to financing low-income and affordable housing.

”These two entities — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — are not facing any kind of financial crisis,” said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. ”The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.”

Representative Melvin L. Watt, Democrat of North Carolina, agreed.

”I don’t see much other than a shell game going on here, moving something from one agency to another and in the process weakening the bargaining power of poorer families and their ability to get affordable housing,” Mr. Watt said.

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