After I wrote my little letter to the President, I wondered what kind of response I would get and perhaps more importantly, whether my message would reach its intended audience….if any.
Well the response to the blog, from my clients and from my blog readers, was instantaneous. Clearly I’m not alone in my thinking.
I may not have received an audience with the President, but I did get to speak with one of his key housing advisers.
Thanks to a last-minute invite from my friend, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, I was invited to participate in a roundtable led by Shaun Donovan, the Secretary for the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Most of the people who were there are very involved with HUD, which I am not. I’m pretty sure I was the only private sector person there and I was definitely the only attorney.
There was a universal sentiment among the panel, that they were having trouble getting business done because the banks are not cooperating with them.
I heard time and time again that the banks were not being competitive with one another and further, they are not being compliant. Sounds familiar doesn’t it?
During the meeting, I was able to directly address Secretary Donovan. Up until that point he had talked a great deal about refinancing, about the need to push Congress to pass several bills that he and the President feel will help the housing market. But he hadn’t addressed the 900 lb. gorilla in the room… the banks.
I spent several minutes telling the Housing Secretary the opinions that I have shared here countless times. And when it was all said and done, to his credit, he did not disagree with me.