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Democratic Senate Hopeful Elizabeth Warren Hears Foreclosure Woes in Jamaica Plain

Law professor Elizabeth Warren of Cambridge is expected to be the Democratic nominee to face Sen. Scott Brown, R, in the fall election. She visited Ula Cafe on Tuesday to speak with local people hurt by the financial crisis.

Law professor and bankruptcy expert Elizabeth Warren sought to highlight her credentials as a consumer watchdog in a visit to Jamaica Plain on Tuesday.

The Cambridge Democrat is the presumptive nominee to face Sen. Scott Brown, R, in the fall. She met at bustling with people facing foreclosure who are being helped by the JP nonprofit .

"Families across this Commonwealth have been hammered in the financial crisis," Warren said . "It's important to remember that this crisis started one lousy mortgage at a time."

JP's Heather Gordon, whose Mendell Way home has been in foreclosure since 2008, was among those who told Warren their stories. About 13 people sat at tables in the bakery/coffee shop, surrounded by media.

Gordon said she has lived in the Medell Way home since 1992. She started having trouble paying her mortgage after losing her job at JP Morgan Chase. With help from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission she got disability benefits from the company. Since then she has gone through multiple bankruptcies. Her mortgage rates have gone as high as 22 percent, she said.

The home, which backs up to the , was in bad shape when she bought it, she said. It had been taken over by vandals and was used to deal drugs, she said. She cleaned up the property.

"Now it's desirable to outsiders," Gordon said.

Warren held hands with Gordon as she told part of her tale. At the end, Warren said reforms like putting all crucial mortgage information on a simple 2-page form would have prevented a lot of bad mortgages.

"They tricked you," Warren said to Gordon. Warren said the form would boil down essentials so that consumers could not only compare mortgage offers, but also check to make sure that the deal they were promised is the one being signed.

Several of the City Life clients who spoke talked about getting a run-around from mortgage service companies who repeatedly said they had not received paperwork that the mortgage holders swore they had sent.

"The law is not that complicated," Warren said. "But they [the mortgage service companies] make more money if they don't follow the law."

City Life client Carolyn Grant, whose home is also in foreclosure, took aim at the GOP.

"The Republicans say we're lazy and it's our fault," Grant said to Warren. "We're looking to you to help us fight."

On several occasions, homeowners' jabs against Republicans brought applause from the group.

Warren, when she was an adviser to the Obama administration, came up with the idea for a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The new government arm was eventually established, but Obama did not choose her to lead it.

Recent polls put Warren behind the incumbent Brown.

William Dawes March 14, 2012 at 11:43 AM
It is a sad commentary on the state of our nation and the Democrat Party that Elizabeth Warren was put up to run for the Massachusetts Senate seat. What most people do not realize is that Ms. Warren, a stern, competent, and tough regulator, was on the list to be the head of the CFTC, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. As such, she would have been in a powerful position to put the hammer down on the banks and their fraudulent practices. She was bumped from the position and it went to Gary Gensler, formerly of GOLDMAN SACHS (recognize the name?). What a tragedy that a person of her significance was forced to run for the MA senate seat instead of where she would truly been able to fight for financial justice.
William Furr March 14, 2012 at 02:06 PM
That's a really good point. I had no idea about her replacement as the CFTC head. Simply amazing. Talk about asking the fox to guard the henhouse.
William Dawes March 14, 2012 at 03:34 PM
The bottom line is that the Two Party System is BROKEN. It doesn't matter which party you vote for. They have both been completely captured by the Financial Industry, The Banks, and Wall Street. There are no regulators now that have not been captured. Witness that there has not been a single prosecution of anyone associated with the mortgage fraud perpetrated by the banks. After the Savings and Loan scandal in the 80's, there were over 1,000 prosecutions. None today. For those people who think the Democrats are not corrupted by this, remember that Obama's administration has a higher percentage of Wall Street Insiders than any administration previously, and most of those are from GOLDMAN SACHS. Timothy Geitner - Goldman Sachs Gary Gensler - Goldman Sachs Hank Paulsen - Goldman Sachs
Bob from JP March 14, 2012 at 06:31 PM
How many people who signed up for mortgages they did not understand have been prosecuted? Sorry, but it has to go both ways. There is no question banks were in the wrong, but there still has to be some personal responsibility with those that were signing documents which they had NO IDEA what they meant. Elizabeth Warren would have been a disaster at the CFTC.
Peter March 15, 2012 at 06:22 PM
I was seriously considering voting for Warren but she meets with hand picked individuals and no one knows where or when she is going to show up. I need someone who is right out front. Theoretically she is good on paper but at this point I'm leaning toward Scot Brown.

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