BMRC Proposed Platform Amendment to Part IV of Platform – # 2
The proposal was presented to our committee membership for discussion in accordance with the rules of BMRC pertaining to formal decision-making by the committee, and passed by consensus at midnight on September 11, 2019.
Designated contact person: Rita Jacobs, email@example.com
Chapter IV, Letter I. Banking and Insurance Reform
Current language in paragraphs 12 and 13 of Part IV, Section I. Banking and Insurance Reform:
Prosecute criminal banking speculation. The Green Party of the United States stands for the reversing the U.S. government bailouts of speculators who engaged in mortgage fraud and related financial crimes. The Green Party calls for aggressive investigation and prosecution of the individuals and corporate entities that targeted families of modest means for predatory home loans, and the large-scale securitization of these loans. Penalties should include prison terms, revocation of corporate charters and confiscation of corporate and individual assets.
Impose a moratorium on foreclosures. An ongoing mortgage-related crime wave is occurring around fraudulent foreclosures, rushed through without proper legal clearances or documentation, often on properties which foreclosing entities cannot even prove they own. We demand a four-year moratorium on foreclosures intended to recoup losses from predatory lending. The proposed moratorium would apply to all homes used as a primary residence and valued under $350,000
Proposed amended language to replace paragraphs 12 and 13 of Part IV, Section I. Banking and Insurance Reform:
Prosecute all financial fraud committed by criminal bankers. The Green Party calls for the aggressive investigation and prosecution of both individuals and corporate entities that engage in these criminal acts. Present laws shield corporate officers and employees from prosecution. Existing fines resulting from convictions against corporate entities do not provide an adequate deterrent to their abuse of power. Penalties for crimes against ordinary consumers should include prison terms for executives and employees, as well as fines, revocations of charters and confiscation of corporate and individual assets.
Home ownership represents the primary method by which many individuals accumulate wealth. If lending institutions are found to have engaged in fraudulent lending or foreclosure practices, then judicial remedies should include fines and imprisonment, as well as equitable remedies in the form of damages, refinancing, and debt forgiveness for homeowners. Laws should be strengthened to protect consumers against foreclosure on their homes by banks and other lending agencies. Strict laws should be enacted that provide swift criminal prosecution of any lending agency, including executives, employees, lawyers and other firms that assist them in fraudulent practices and fraudulent foreclosures. Laws should also be enacted to provide individual homeowners with legal assistance through publicly-funded agencies when faced with any potential financial fraud, including foreclosure.
The language of these two paragraphs in the present platform is obviously a direct result of the crash of 2008 and the subsequent bank bailouts. That occurred 10 or 11 years ago, and the language in the platform is out of date because of the passage of time. A version of similar reforms that are not specific to a historic event would better reflect the intentions of the Green Party.