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Letters: Role of mortgage brokers misstated

Article wrong about mortgage brokers

A May 8 article (“Homebuyers sue KB Home, Countrywide, allege rigging to inflate prices“) contained two glaring misrepresentations.

“Homebuilders sold their homes for higher prices, the banks profited from making and selling loans and the mortgage brokers benefited from earning more commissions.” This is mostly accurate, but the phrase about mortgage brokers is not.

Countrywide and KB’s agreement precluded outside lenders. Mortgage brokers work with a variety of lenders to keep the market competitive.

KB and Countrywide prevented mortgage brokers from participating in the loan process and practically required borrowers to use Countrywide as the exclusive lender.

Also misleading is the revelation that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac adopted new standards for appraisals. This article illustrates the danger of the relationship between a lender such as Countrywide and its appraisal management company (AMC), such as Landsafe.

The standards adopted in the Home Valuation Code of Conduct between New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac doesn’t just allow this type of lender/AMC relationship. It virtually mandates it.

As of May 1, Bank of America, which acquired Countrywide and Landsafe, will only use appraisals by Landsafe. They are not alone. Most major banks only accept appraisals from their selected AMC.

Cuomo’s investigation results have never been released, but the impact of HVCC is to encourage the type of relationship that has led to the lawsuit.

Tom Heath

Government affairs chairman, Arizona Mortgage Lenders Association

board member, Arizona Association of Mortgage Brokers

Democrats responsible for current problems

Obama is just cleaning up what the last administration did when they deregulated the financial firms? Of such statements are fairy tales made.

The previous administration tried to regulate financial institutions. It was the members of the current majority who blocked any attempts to do so.

Obama and company are responsible for this mess, no matter how much they try to shift the blame. I am surprised people think the Bush administration caused the recession.

I lay the blame squarely on Barney Franks, Chris Dodd, Nancy Pelosi and the rest of their ilk. You want me to support Obama? To do what?

Raise taxes? His party members are experts at squeezing more money out of us.

Tell the rest of the world we are evil? He has done that.

Bow to people who want us dead? He’s done that.

Build a smart, cost-lowering universal health system? His own party says that won’t work.

Homeland Security? Doesn’t his administration want to bring the terrorists here?

And of course this high-tech electronic fence will be going up, so we can count the illegal immigrants and drug smugglers instead of catching them.

Come to think of it, our ex-governor, by her own words, doesn’t even know which direction to look for terrorists.

Obama was an expert at tearing down this country before, and it’s all better now? It’s not.

Expecting me to support him is about as likely as my believing that a rabbit paints eggs and delivers them in a basket every Easter.

John F. Sukey

retired military

UA student missed point about firearms

In a May 4 letter (“Student shoots down letting guns on campus“), University of Arizona student MariaElena Williams slightly oversimplified the controversy over allowing firearms on college campuses.

She assumes that if firearms were allowed, all students would have the legal right to carry a concealed firearm. This is incorrect.

The bill would allow only those people with concealed weapons permits to carry a firearm on college campuses.

This is a huge difference.

A concealed weapon permit can be obtained only by a person with no criminal history who is at least 21 and who attends a training class and passes a marksmanship accuracy test.

Only a small percentage of college students would be legally allowed to carry a concealed weapon on campus, and they would have formal training.

Every single one of them would be a deterrent to the person who comes to the campus with the intent of harming students. Why do you think so many schools are targeted by maniacs? It’s because students are defenseless.

The arguments against allowing legally concealed weapons on college campuses sound exactly like the hysteria that arose when Florida lawmakers first addressed whether to allow concealed weapons permits.

“There’ll be blood running in the streets. There’ll be gunfights on every corner. There’ll be shootouts over parking spaces.” There was none of that.

Less than one-tenth of 1 percent of all concealed weapon permit holders have had their permits revoked for criminal behavior. And the majority of those had nothing to do with firearms.

The vast majority of individuals who go to the trouble of obtaining the permit to carry a concealed weapon are more law-abiding than the average citizen. The people who go to schools to kill students don’t bother with minor details like laws. Have more faith in your fellow students.

Pat McGraw

Citizen Online Archive, 2006-2009

This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

In 2010, a power surge fried a server that contained all of videos linked to dozens of stories in this archive. Also, a server that contained all of the databases for dozens of stories was accidentally erased, so all of those links are broken as well. However, all of the text and photos that accompanied some stories have been preserved.

For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

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