BACA ORGANIZES A close look at the network Cong Baca organized, pushing for increased mortgage lending to unquaified buyers reveals a disturbing picture.
<><> HOGAR-—the initiative to promote Latino homeownership-—was created by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Inc., a non-profit entity founded and run by Baca and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus along with corporate and nonprofit representatives.
<><>Subprime-industry executives got in early, as advisers to “HOGAR” bankrolled more than $2 million of HOGAR’s flawed research (NOTE so-called “research money” could have been laundered into Baca-related entities).
<><>Lawmakers and latino advocacy groups pushed hard to weaken credit criteria that inexorably led to the subprime debacle.
<><>Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, who received donations from the lending industry, stood idly by as their constituents moved into new homes bought with fraudulent documents and fasified mortgage apps. The lawmen had undermined US law by pushing for eased lending standards, which led to massive foreclosures, tax burdens, and UNTOLD DAMAGE TO THE US economy.
The Congressional Hispanic Institute, Inc, created by Baca’s Congressional Hispanic Caucus created “HOGAR” in 2003 to work with industry and community groups to increase mortgage lending to unqualified Latinos.
At that time, Baca hyped the fact that the national Latino homeownership rate was 47%, compared with 68% for the overall population. “HOGAR” called the figure “alarming,” and said a concerted effort was required to ensure that “by the end of the decade Latinos will share equally in
the American Dream of home ownership.”
Most of the “dreamers” were citizens of Third World countries who had violated US borders.
Predictably, HOGAR’s backers included mortgage companies that ran into big trouble: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, both now under federal control after billions in taxpayer bailouts; Countrywide Financial Corp., sold to Bank of America Corp.; Washington Mutual Inc., taken over by the US government and sold to J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.; and New Century Financial Corp. and Ameriquest Mortgage Corp, both now defunct, killed by unpaid Latino mortgages.
HOGAR’s ties to the subprime industry were substantial. A Washington Mutual Bank vice president served as chairman of its advisory committee.
Bribery and self-dealing was rampant. Companies that donated $150,000 to Cong Baca got the right to place a research fellow who would conduct HOGAR’s fraudulent studies, which were used by industry lobbyists. For donations to Baca of $100,000 a year, HOGAR offered to provide optimistic news releases from Baca’s Hispanic Caucus promoting a lender’s commercial products for the Latino market, a shocking example of bribery well-substantitated by the group’s literature.
“HOGAR” worked with Freddie Mac on a self-serving two-year examination of Latino homeownership in 63 congressional districts.
The study found Hispanic ownership on the rise thanks to “new flexible mortgage loan products” that the industry was adopting at the urging of Cong Baca’s coterie. HOGAR recommended further easing of down-payment and underwriting standards.
However, as the subprime debacle ensued, representatives for HOGAR declined repeated requests for comment despite the economic havoc their activities precipitated.
1) the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President's Achievement Award,
2) the National Farmers Union Presidential Award for Leadership,
3) the Walter Kaitz Foundation Diversity Advocate Award,
4) the U.S. Department of Agriculture Coalition of Minority Employees Award of Excellence.
5) Latino Leaders Magazine lists Baca as one of the top 100 most influential Hispanic leaders in America,
6) ranked twelfth on the list of the top 42 Hispanics on the "Who's Hot" list,
7) there's the Joe Baca Senior Field at the Empire Center,Fontana; and the Joe Baca Field at the Rialto Boys and Girls Club.
8) Colton Joint Unified School District broke ground on the "Joe Baca Middle School" at 1640 S. Lilac Avenue in Rialto, Cali, to open for the 2012-2013 school year.
BACA KNOWS PUBLIC SERVICE IS LUCRATIVE---HERE'S HOW HE CASHES IN
<><>In 2005, mortgage banks and finance companies gave Baca at least $2.3 million dollars.
<><>In October 2008, a charitable foundation set up by Baca received $25,000 from AmeriDream Inc, a so-called " nonprofit" housing program (did AmeriDream get earmarks?).
<><> AmeriDream's activities included providing down-payment money to unqualified buyers, a cost that was covered by home builders in the form of "donations" to the nonprofit. (NOTE Such loans--known as bridge loans--are considered illegal.) New housing legislation circa 2009 outlawed the program.
<><> Undeterred, Baca then co-sponsored a bill that would allow AmeriDream and similar nonprofits to resume arranging illegal seller-financed down-payment assistance to low-income latino FHA borrowers. Such seller-financed loans to latinos comprise one-third of the loans backed by the FHA, and have defaulted at nearly triple the rate of other FHA-insured loans, according to FHA's William Glavin.
In a self-serving news release, the latino mortgage facilitator----AmeriDream---said its "donation" to The Joe Baca Foundation was intended to "fund the purchase of gear for firefighters" in Baca's district.
<><> Local news reports say the Joe Baca Foundation gave away a measly $36,000 in scholarships in 2009.
Cong Baca's office declined to comment on the AmeriDream contribution. Baca remains resolutely opposed to strict lending rules (especially since taxpayers are saddled with the billions in mortgage defaults). "We nhighly eed to keep credit easily accessible to our minority communities," Baca said in a statement released by his office.
IRS records indicate that Baca's son, Joe Baca Jr, pockets an annual salary of $51,800 as executive director of The Joe Baca Foundation, which is run out of the congressman's Caifornia home. Joe Baca Jr. insisted he takes half of the salary listed by the IRS. No word on the amount Baca Jr pays taxes on.
Mortgage lending to Hispanics took off between 2004 and 2007, powered by nonprime loans. The biggest jump occurred in 2005. The 169% increase in nonprime mortgages to Hispanics that year outpaced a 122% gain for blacks, and a 110% increase for whites, according to a Journal analysis of mortgage-industry and federal-housing data.
Nonprime mortgages carry high interest rates and are tailored to borrowers with low credit scores or few assets. Between 2004 and 2007, black borrowers were offere nonprime loans at a slightly higher rate than Hispanics, but the overall number of Hispanic borrowers was much larger. From 2004 to 2005, thanks to Baca, total nonprime home loans to Hispanics more than tripled to $69 billion from $19 billion, and peaked in 2006 at $73 billion.
It comes as no surprise that the race-based "La Raza" was given tax dollars and Congressionsl earmarks to finance its mortgage activities. La Raza's "strategic partnerships with Wachovia and Bank of America forced the lowering mortgage-application requirements and documentation standards. La Raza aided and abetted risky federal and private-home loans to latinos over the last decade thanks to the lending industrys version of dont ask, dont tell.
In addition to millions of federal rax dollars, La Raza also collected a $1 million Democratic earmark that funded community-development projects. Analysts report that much of it went to "mortgage counseling." Baca is quiet about his role in (a) financing, and, (b) earmarking La Raza.