Bruce Marks – USA

Linked with The housing organization Neighborhood Assistance Corp. of America NACA, with International Accountability Project IAP, and with Fairness.com.

Wall Street made billions off the backs of homeowners. But when the mortgage crisis blew up, a pit bull named Bruce Marks stood up for the Average Joes and, incredibly, got some of the biggest banks to bend … And sadly, a whole lot of desperate people had to turn to Marks for help this year, and a whole lot more will need his emergency services in the year ahead … The CEO of the nonprofit Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, or NACA, Marks works out of a stripped-down office above an electrical-supply store in Jamaica Plain. Yet over the years he has become one of the most feared men in the corporate boardrooms of the nation’s leading financial institutions … (full text, December 30, 2007).

He says: “NACA has received requests for help from some 3,000 Homeowners nationwide whose loans are serviced by Citi” … and: “We have refused to accept anything less than a permanent interest-rate reduction for the homeowner” … (full text, March 25, 2008).

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Bruce Marks – USA

Listen the video: NACA’s CEO Bruce Marks in Global Player, Part 1/4, 14 min, Sep 17, 2007.

BAILOUT BULLIES, ENTITLEMENT CULTURE GONE MAD, April 2, 2008.

His statement: My name is Bruce Marks. I am Chief Executive Officer of the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA), a non-profit housing services and advocacy organization. NACA is known for its “Best in America” mortgage program which offers low and moderate income Americans home mortgages with low interest rates, no down payment, and no closing costs. Perfect credit is not required. Through the NACA program thousands of Americans have realized the dream of home ownership. NACA provides prime loans for “sub-prime borrowers”. NACA has 21 offices across the country with $3.8 Billion committed to the best mortgage in America. The current interest rate for NACA mortgages is 7.5% fixed for 30 years with no down payment, no closing costs, and no fees. In addition, NACA provides comprehensive housing services at no cost to the borrower. It may sound too good to be true but it is the reality for thousands of working people. People can call NACA at 1-888-302-NACA to participate in this incredible program. NACA is also known for its advocacy campaigns against predatory lenders. As the committee is no doubt aware, there are predatory lending companies out there who use misleading sales tactics to take advantage of those who, through little or no fault of their own, have been excluded from mainstream credit institutions. NACA has worked in the street, in boardrooms, in statehouses, and in this building to fight these exploitive lending practices with a great deal of success. However, despite our efforts, these practices continue … (full long text, June 21, 2000).

BOSTON GLOBE NAMES BRUCE MARKS, NACA CEO, BOSTONIAN OF THE YEAR (2007).

He writes: … This subprime crisis is about risky and greedy lending. These “exotic” products are unique in their type and magnitude. The majority are adjustable rate mortgages, but these ARMs are unique for they do not decrease if the prime rate or other indexes go down. These are Strangulation ARMs that are structured to always increase, resulting in foreclosure or financial ruin for the majority of borrowers. Payments are initially affordable but dramatically increase over three to four years to more than 10 percent, even if the lending indexes decrease. There was no perceived subprime crisis prior to 2007 when the initial payments were affordable. But double-digit interest rates over the long term would transform anyone into an at-risk borrower. These loans – hundreds of billions of dollars worth – have generated huge profits for the brokers who originated them, the lenders who purchased them, the rating agencies that evaluated them, and the investment bankers who packaged and sold them to investors … (full text, September 20, 2007).

Homeowners Plan Demonstration at NYC Offices of Bear Stearns, JPMorgan Chase to Protest Government Bailout, March 26, 2008.

After a raucous Senate Banking Committee hearing exploring Fleet Financial Group’s record on lending to minority communities, the Federal Reserve Board governors agreed to consider taking action against the New England banking giant. Among the community activists present at that February 1993 meeting with the governors was Bruce Marks, Director of the Boston-based Union Neighborhood Assistance Corporation (UNAC) known for waging guerrilla warfare against banks that fail to meet fair lending standards. When Marks and company returned six weeks later, only to be informed that the governors had decided not to act on the matter, the group took action of their own by rushing the front steps of the Reserve and blocking the entrance … (full text, National Housing Institute, Mai/June 1995).

Bruce Marks has a name for himself: “Banking Terrorist.” It doesn’t look good on a resume, but Marks’s tactics have helped the Massachusetts-based activist win truckloads of money for impoverished neighborhoods. … (full text, Oct. 1997).

Last week, a mob of screeching protesters invaded the Bear Stearns headquarters in Manhattan demanding more aid for homeowners. As you know, I oppose federal bailouts of every make and model — and that includes both the Bear Stearns deal and the bipartisan stimulus-palooza in Washington. But the bank-bashers who held their demonstration in New York City against Bear Stearns and JPMorgan are totally unhinged. And out of control. Here is the face of the entitlement culture gone mad: “We will go to their neighborhood, we will educate their children on what their parents do. They should be ashamed,” said Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA) founder Bruce Marks in a nasty warning issued to employees of both banks … (full text, April 2, 2008).

Find him and his publications on Google Video-search; and on Google Book-search.

His Self Description (on Fairness.com):

  • March 2008: “Bruce Marks has an M.B.A. in finance from New York University and a B.A. in economics from the University of Connecticut. He was an L.B.J Scholar for Congressman Stewart McKinney (R-Ct). He worked as a Congressional Liaison for the Department of Energy in Washington DC. Then he worked as regulator for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in Domestic Applications.
  • As a union activist for the Hotel Workers Union in Boston, Bruce Marks worked with the President of the Hotel Workers union, Domenic Bozzotto, to negotiate the first ever housing trust fund. This resulted in the first amendment to the Taft-Hartley Act in over twenty-five years and the first time a local union changed America’s major labor law.
  • Marks moved from union activist to Executive Director of the Union Neighborhood Assistance Corporation (UNAC), where he used his finance and organizing experience to be the first to expose predatory lending and its devastating impact. Marks led the fight against the predatory lending practices of major New England banks. For two and a half years Marks and UNAC researched their predatory lending practices before releasing the research, which focused on Fleet Bank, to the public. The extensive research in Massachusetts, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Michigan and other states documented Fleet’s predatory lending practices in which they targeted home owners who were property rich but cash poor. As Marks expanded the advocacy and housing services nationally, the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA) was established.
  • After a four and a half year war with Fleet, Marks was instrumental in negotiating an unprecedented settlement. Fleet committed to an $8 billion reinvestment program for low and moderate income people, settled lawsuits in Georgia for hundreds of millions of dollars, and provided $140 million in an unprecedented mortgage program to be administered by NACA.
  • Marks’ role as an aggressive crusader for reform of the powerful banking and lending industry has its representatives up in arms. On May 5, 1999 from the Senate floor, Senator Phil Gramm (R-TX), head of the Senate Banking Committee, attempted to portray banks as victims of Bruce Marks. Gramm described Marks as, “… someone who graduates from college, goes to graduate school, and goes to work for the Federal Reserve in acquisitions and mergers, quits and goes into business, spends four years harassing banks and bank presidents, and finally the bank (Fleet Bank) caves and gives them $1.4 million, gives them $200,000 to set up their organization; they now have twenty offices, lending $3.5 billion…” Senator Gramm continued, “There is a CRA protester who calls himself an “urban terrorist” who used those charges against a bank, harassed them for four years, went to a speech of the president of the bank (Fleet Bank CEO Terrence Murray) at Harvard University, disrupted the speech, made this man’s life miserable for four long years.” Bruce Marks wears this personal attack as a badge of honor.
  • Under Marks’ leadership, NACA has garnered commitments of over $6.7 Billion for the best mortgage product in America. NACA now has 31 offices throughout the country and will double in size within the next 12 to 18 months. NACA has become the largest housing services organization in the United States.
  • Today, Bruce Marks continues to expand NACA’s role as lead reformer of the banking and lending industry. This includes enacting local and state legislation and regulations to address sub-prime and predatory lending. He continues to hold lenders and others who exploit workingeople accountable. And the fight goes on!!!”. (on Fairness.com).

link: Affordable Housing Institute, USA.

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