Real Estate News
San Diego needs its own Housing Hero
Published Thursday, 30-Sep-2010 in issue 1188
Big Bad Banking got some really BAD NEWS last week as Mother Jones Magazine’s Andy Kroll broke the story of huge law firms, known as “foreclosure mills”, operating in Florida (and elsewhere) engaged in the potentially illegal taking of millions of homes.
GMAC -a subsidiary of Ally Financial was so worried it suspended foreclosure evictions and sales altogether. Rising Democratic Party star Rep. Alan Grayson along with his Ohio colleague Marcy Kaptur have been among the few voices in Congress for homeowners in the ongoing class war waged against them by Wall Street. It seems now they were right all along. You may remember Kaptur as the take-charge legislator who advised homeowners in her Toledo-area district to demand that banks produce the original deeds of trust in judicial foreclosure courts. Most can’t even tell borrowers the actual owners of their loan, let alone produce the original note. She has forced banks to modify hundreds of loans rather than foreclose.
San Diego could sure use a housing hero like Grayson or Kaptur. The fact that we don’t makes me wonder about the relative silence of both our state and federal elected officials. Are they silent because of campaign contributions? Watch my column in coming weeks as we dig deeper to see just how cozy our local elected officials are with the Big Bad Banks who routinely kick San Diego homeowners to the curb.
Attorneys General in several states are investigating GMAC/Ally Financial including California AG Jerry Brown. (You may recognize Ally Financial from its cutesy Ally Bank television spots touting their equitable treatment of both existing and new customers. Yeah, right.)
Brown, who is a candidate for Governor ordered GMAC/Ally to stop all foreclosure activities in California subject to the outcome of his investigation. In a press release last Friday Brown said “I’m taking this action to protect California homeowners facing the tragedy of foreclosure. They are clearly in jeopardy since an Ally Financial official admitted his review of thousands of critical foreclosure documents was really a sham.”
Ally/GMAC accounted for 24% of the $26 billion of mortgage loans made in California during the first half of 2010. If the illegal practices exposed in Florida took place nationwide, well, Katie bar the door, cuz the lawyers are gonna have a field day and dispossessed homeowners may finally have their day in court. We call on Attorney General Brown to halt all foreclosure activity wherever similar practices are suspected. Doing so might force the industry to initiate serious loan modification programs and streamline the short sale processes instead of converting people’s homes into investment fodder for an industry that already stands accused by the government of hoarding foreclosed homes.
Send us your tales of lost loan modification paperwork, denials, lies, seized bank accounts, dubious appraisals and aggressive foreclosures. We’ll get them to appropriate government agencies so your voice can be added to the millions of homeowners who’ve had enough. Drop us a line at We have full faith that with enough outrage from homeowners, tenants, buyers and Realtors we can halt the massive redistribution of wealth taking place today. BOOYAH!
ARG Abbott Realty Group won the SPIRIT AWARD at the Everyday Heroes walkathon last weekend. Thanks to ARG Realtors Caryl Iseman, Richard Croft, Nicole Hazelton, Catherine Carmody, Jessica Freeman, Barry Finnegan, Laurie Shaw, Monica Ball and office manager Dustin Abbott for all their efforts in organizing Team ARG. Everyday Heroes is a cooperative program between the San Diego Police Department and the SD Association of Realtors (SDAR) that helps police officers purchase homes in San Diego and keep them working for SDPD. Kudos to all 300 Realtors who participated.
Speaking of SDAR, President Mark Marquez, immediate past-President Erik Weichelt and CEO Mike Mercurio visited the Metro Area Realtors marketing meeting at Terra Restaurant. In wake of SDAR’s misguided (and now suspended) endorsement of mega-hater Lorie Zapf, Marquez urged the 75 agents and affiliates in attendance to become more involved at SDAR so that the voices of GLBT Realtors and their clients might be consistently represented. Marquez committed to seating up to six members on SDAR’s politically-potent Governmental Affairs committee from the Metro area group. Come on, Realtors! If we don’t step up we won’t have to look beyond the closest mirror to assess the blame next time.
George Gilman and Dale Burgett of Pacific Pinnacle sent in this super deal in a prime Mission Hills location...1432 Bush Street has 3 beds, 2.5 baths, great sun decks and over 1800 square feet of gorgeously-remodeled Cape Cod-style home. Add a couple of hotties and you’ll think you’re in Provincetown! Just $679,000. Contact Dale and George at
Jim Abbott is the President/Managing Broker of ARG Abbott Realty Group DRE LIC 1843472. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Natl Assn of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals. He is a former board member at EQCA, SDAR, CAR and a past Library Commissioner for the City of San Diego. He can be reached at or at his downtown office where his adult children pretend to let him run the company.

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