William S. Schurman: Helping fire victims | SteamboatToday.com
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William S. Schurman: Helping fire victims

At church last Sunday, a second collection was taken for the victims of the fire at the Fourth Street duplexes. I saw many people contribute. I dropped a few bucks in myself. But I kept thinking that as this community continues to support those in need, where is Bank of America?

Bank of America made the loan (actually, Countrywide did, but Bank of America bought out Countrywide for dimes on the dollar) to the developers who paid a high price to attempt the dream of a five-unit commercial/residential LEED-certified building. Bank of America made money making the loan, Bank of America made money selling the loan that was collateralized and securitized and sold as a bond to institutional investors, and then Bank of America made money processing the loan for the bond holders. When the financial collapse threatened the big banks and financial houses, taxpayers bailed them out with President George W. Bush’s Troubled Asset Relief Program program, which was absolutely necessary.

There is no TARP program for the many regular investors in the real estate market who lost everything, including these developers of the project planned for the Fourth Street lot. But Bank of America got a guarantee on the loan from a federal agency, Fannie Mae. Apparently Fannie Mae now will become the “owner” of the Fourth Street property.



The taxpayer covers the losses at Fannie Mae. So the bond holders come out OK. Bank of America foreclosed on the investors three days before the fire. The property at the time of the fire was in the name of Bank of America (in its home loan servicing division).

So as this community digs deep to help those victims of the Fourth Street fire, this community in its way has helped Bank of America through various federal programs from TARP to the bank-friendly regulatory agencies to the Fannie Mae guarantee programs. I just wish that Bank of America was present last Sunday to put a few bucks into the collection basket.



William S. Schurman

Steamboat Springs


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