Maxine Waters Renegotiates Constituent Mortgages
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) just revealed on C-Span that she, personally, is renegotiating troubled mortgages on behalf of her constituents.
During a House Financial Services committee hearing, Waters said her constituents sign a release that allows her to negotiate on their behalf. One such negotiation led her all the way to the Wells Fargo chief executive, she said.
We sent an e-mail to her spokesman, Michael Levin, to confirm that this is true and to get some details.
Levin responded quickly, saying, yes, Waters is working on renegotiating 26 mortgages and has assigned one of her staffers to work on the project full-time. The conversation with Wells Fargo chief executive John Stumpf led to a loan modification that allowed a homeowner to stay in her home, Levin said.
One the one hand, Waters's actions represent an extraordinary level of constituent service that is no doubt helpful to the homeowners in her district.
On the other hand, they raise some valid questions: Is Waters or her staff member qualified to act as a mortgage-servicer? (Qualified enough to get at least one reworked, is one answer, it seems.) Are the deals legally binding?
Also, is reworking individual home loans, presumably at no cost, the business of a member of Congress? And what happens when this service becomes widely known? Will Waters's office be flooded with troubled mortgage-holders, seeking the same constituent service?
At any rate, Waters's efforts are enterprising. What do you think?
-- Frank Ahrens
The Ticker is Twittering!
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