Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Does this man even have an IQ?: Bush’s response to the foreclosure crisis

Posted By on Mon, Apr 7, 2008 at 5:22 AM

Archeologists hope to someday uncover the president’s IQ, which was last seen in 1974.
Last fall, when President Bush belatedly realized that the foreclosure crisis was about to capsize the economy, he decided to do something about it. His administration helped set up the Hope Now alliance, a group of banking and lender types that would work with non-profit counselors to help homeowners fix ballooning and predatory loans. But this being George Bush, the operative goal was to look like he was doing something, rather than the time-tested concept of actually doing something. Turns out his alliance is housed by a financial lobbyist group, and includes members such as Countrywide Financial, also known as the Great White Loan Shark. And its executive director, Faith Schwartz, is a VP for a subprime lender Option One Mortgage… This is a bit like having Halliburton oversee the budget for the Iraq war. Though Hope Now claims to have helped more than one million people avoid foreclosure, critics say many just got new repayment plans for their loans — which they still can’t afford. And the alliance certainly isn’t helping those in desperate need, such as families in Cleveland, the nation’s foreclosure capital. “It’s a complete joke,” says Mark Seifert, head of the East Side Organizing Project, a local group that helps predatory loan victims. To qualify for help, Seifert says, you can’t be more than one month behind in your mortgage, and your credit rate has to be high. “If all those things were happening, you’re probably not in trouble,” he says. Plus, Hope Now is basically just an 800 number. Often, counselors ask a bunch of questions, and then just tell callers to contact their mortgage lender directly. So the point of calling is…? – Lisa Rab

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 9, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2020 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation