The Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, a consumer-interest lobby and non-profit, is pushing for a nationwide boycott of Countrywide Financial. National Mortgage News reports that the current boycott effort is not the first time the consumer group has attempted to target the nation's largest lender:
NACA launched a campaign against Countrywide in August to draw regulators' attention to the company's lending and servicing practices. The Boston-based activist group has waged campaigns about other subprime lenders and has a mortgage broker operation that provides low-cost, fixed-rate mortgages to low- and moderate-income people.
From the NACA press statement:
"Countrywide is the number one example of the abuses in the subprime industry." states NACA CEO Bruce Marks. "This boycott includes actions at many of Countrywide's over one thousand offices nationwide. Angry and frustrated Countrywide borrowers will now be able to take action against them. People thinking about obtaining a Countrywide mortgage or a Certificate of Deposit will be discouraged from funding their predatory activities. By changing or defeating Countrywide, other lenders and servicers will follow."
I'm not commenting on the merit or lack thereof associated with NACA's efforts -- that decision is left HW readers -- but it never ceases to amaze me how nobody complained when real estate was headed up, up, up. I don't recall anyone targeting Countrywide, or any other subprime lender, as "predatory" during the boom; as the roof caves in on housing prices, its become the cause du jour for most consumer groups.