Categorized | Economy

ACORN Community Reinvestment Act

ACORN is in news a lot and FOX anchors were all over it, literally using this group as a punching bag. So what is ACORN and what have they done to deserve this media attention. But before we get into that, by now one thing is pretty much apparent. Since a lot of scorn is being heaped on ACORN in the conservative media, it should not be too hard to deduce that ACORN looks like a liberal idea and that conservatives have no love lost for it.

Now lets take a look at what Community Reinvestment is.

Community Reinvestment Act is a United States federal law that requires banks and savings and loan organizations to make available credit through out their entire market area and prohibits them from targeting only wealthier neighborhoods with their services, a practice known as “redlining.” The purpose of the CRA is to provide credit, including home ownership opportunities to under served populations and commercial loans to small businesses. It has been subjected to important regulatory revisions.

Now how all this ties up to ACORN. Here is what the chief of ACORN, Maude Hurd, had to say:

Given the recent turmoil in our financial markets and the ongoing negotiations around a bailout package for Wall Street, it’s not surprising that much of the debate focused on the current economic crisis, which was in many ways predictable.  ACORN has been sounding the alarm for years as more and more deregulation stripped protections for consumers and basic safeguards of sound lending.

I had a chance to visit a few banks in not so good neighborhoods in Alabama and I recall seeing a placard perched in the middle of the bank listing out this CRA charter. When I read it and realized what it’s purpose was, it made good sense to me and I sort of agreed to it.

The CRA was passed into law by the 95th United States Congress in 1977 as a result of national grassroots pressure for affordable housing, and despite considerable opposition from the mainstream banking community.

However, in the current situation of economic meltdown and Wall street rumblings, ACORN and Community Reinvestment Act are getting quite a bit of negative press and blame because all the bad loans were primarily made available under this act.

A lot of economic pundits are saying since ACORN works with communities and Presidential nominee Barack Obama was once closely aligned with ACORN during his community organizer days, hence he shares equal blame for this mess.

Check out this video that I found related to this issue at hand.

    42 Responses to “ACORN Community Reinvestment Act”

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      You are welcome. As to your question, I have asked some liberals and conservative friends of mine to answer your question. Keep checking.

    2. BoneHead says:

      The CRA is a study in unintended consequences. It was passed in the name of affordable housing, a noble cause. However, by forcing banks to provide loans to people that otherwise would not be able to get them, housing prices were actually driven up drastically. It was a simple matter of supply and demand. So now, people with weak credit now have big mortgages on houses that aren’t worth what they paid for them and aren’t able to make their payments because of higher gas prices, etc. I don’t think forcing banks to give people loans they can’t afford is a good idea.

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