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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!

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 18, 2008; 12:05 PM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: mortgage workouts, troubled mortgages  
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Next: Nov. 18, 2008


The Congresswoman is making a real attempt to assist her constituents which is more than can be said for the others in Congress and in the Senate.

Posted by: rbarbe | November 18, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

I agree with rbarbe; this is more in line with what is needed to clean up those balance sheets with the banks. Throwing hundreds of billions of dollars at the banks so they can buy each other doesn't detox the assets. Only mortgage holders that can pay their bills can do that.

Bravo to California for once again being ahead of the country on solutions to problems. (I am not a CA resident)

Posted by: theobserver4 | November 18, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

“If money is wanted by Rulers who have in any manner oppressed the People, they may retain it until their grievances are redressed, and thus peaceably procure relief, without trusting to despised petitions or disturbing the public tranquility.”

1774, Journals of the Continental Congress, 1:105-113


The following Petitions for Redress of Grievances were first formally served on the Government of the United States in November, 2002

To this date, the US government has refused to respond.

The Petitions are currently being updated to reflect current circumstances and demands upon Government officials (March, 2008)

We have continued to add Petitions and will record signatures on the Petitions until further notice.

SIGN The Petitions For Redress:

- Abuse of War Making Authority
- Abuse of Rights by the "USA Patriot Act"
- Abuse of Taxing Authority
- Abuse of the Money & Banking Powers
- Abuse of Right to Keep & Bear Arms
- Abuse of Right to Controlled Borders
- Abuse of National Sovereignty (no NAU)

The people are the source of all political power, and all of government is limited by our state and federal constitutions. However, the constitutions do not defend themselves; they just sit there. Citizens must defend constitutions against unconstitutional acts by those wielding governmental power.

The most pernicious form of tyranny is that which disguises itself as a benefactor to its victims. An act of tyranny anywhere is a threat to freedom everywhere. Every unlawful act committed by the government -- whether at the local, state or federal levels -- is an act of tyranny, and we, as responsible Americans, have a duty to maintain vigilance and to respond to acts of governmental tyranny in order to preserve, protect and enhance our rights, freedoms and liberties. As Jefferson repeated, "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance … the eye of vigilance should never be closed… when the government fears the people you have liberty; when the people fear the government you have tyranny."

Posted by: AJAX2 | November 18, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

does waters threaten the lenders if they don't comply? does she violate any laws by interfering in the contract between the lender and the mortgage holder...

Posted by: DwightCollins | November 18, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

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