ACORN members, advocates on housing issues for low-and moderate-income people and Citibank have quietly recruited applicants in the county for more than a year...It goes on quite a bit, but here's what you can do about it:
But the market is vast and the level of interest in the program is high, especially since the loans typically offer below-market interest rates, down-payment assistance and require no mortgage insurance.
...Only two tax-ID mortgages have been processed locally, but about 10 local Citibank loans to undocumented immigrants may soon be finalized with the help of ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. The nonprofit organization receives much of its funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
...Wells Fargo recently seized on the market, joining Citibank as the only nationwide banks offering tax-ID loans. Wells Fargo started its pilot tax-ID loan program in Los Angeles and Orange counties in December.
Chuck Lemoine, a Wells Fargo senior vice president, said providing tax-ID loans is legal and that reaching out "is not only the right thing to do, it's good business."
...ACORN Housing officials disclosed [the identity of the story's illegal alien victim] to The San Diego Union-Tribune on the condition her full name not be used. Six years ago, Estela asked an American friend to help her buy a home. She paid the costs, his name was on the loan and title. But a tax lien frightened her friend, who transferred the title to Estela. When the mortgage company found out she was an illegal immigrant, it demanded full payment.
Estela thought she would have to sell her three-bedroom home or lose it. That is, until she heard about the tax-ID loan program. In October, Estela signed the final documents for a new mortgage issued by Citibank.
The local tax-ID program has kept a low profile - no Citibank or ACORN-issued news releases - because of the anti-immigrant backlash that the overall program has drawn. Citibank has processed 72 tax-ID loans nationally since October 2004, half in California...
..."We're seriously looking at getting these banks charged with aiding and abetting someone who's a criminal," said William Gheen, president of the national group Americans for Legal Immigration. "Illegal aliens are criminals."
Immigration · Mon, 02/06/2006 - 19:16 · Importance: 19