Thousands Lost Their Homes While Rep. Katie Porter Made Six Figures

Originally published in SoCalDailyPulse.com:

Editor’s Note: the subject of this article, Rep. Katie Porter, represents the 45th Congressional District, which includes the eastern portion of Anaheim.

First-term Congresswoman Katie Porter (D-Irvine) made waves last month after her grilling of Chase Bank CEO Jamie Dimon went viral. If the soundbites tell us anything, it is that Rep. Katie Porter wants to brand herself as the Patron Saint of consumer finance and taxpayers.

However, in the fracas of a Democratic Presidential Primary, some inconvenient details are starting to emerge about Katie Porter’s tenure as a “watchdog” of bank settlement funds meant to assist California homeowners facing foreclosure.

In 2012, America’s state attorneys general negotiated a punitive settlement with the nation’s largest banks in response to predatory and fraudulent mortgage practices that fueled the financial crisis. A national monitor was appointed by the States to oversee the $40+ billion settlement and ensure compliance that settlement funds reached troubled homeowners at risk of losing their homes.

In California however, then-Attorney General Kamala Harris decided to appoint a political ally, former law professor Katie Porter, as California’s monitor to oversee the $18 billion that was supposed to help underwater California homeowners. Porter was the only state-appointed monitor in the nation and came out of the gates with tough talk about how other programs to help homeowners failed to live up to their hype.

Using funds originally meant for California’s troubled homeowners, Katie Porter negotiated with Kamala Harris a $300,000 salary and benefits package for herself and a $1.56 million-dollar budget for an 11-member staff. Porter, who was then a professor at UCI Law School making approximately $250,000+ per year, ran her operation out of UCI’s Irvine campus and according to University records, Porter went $1.57 million over budget, totaling $3.13 million in staff salaries and benefits. All of this funded by money meant to assist distressed homeowners.

Porter and Harris apologists may claim that California’s stewardship of these funds led to superior results compared to other states, however consumer advocates that worked with California homeowners during the mortgage crisis tell a different story.

Last week Reuters published the other side of California’s housing recovery story with less than complimentary marks for Harris and Porter:

“Consumer advocates who worked with California homeowners during the mortgage crisis say the most vulnerable – limited English speakers, the disabled, widows and minorities – had the least luck obtaining relief.”

The article goes on to quote the deputy director of the California Reinvestment Coalition, an association of 300 nonprofit consumer finance groups that maintain that the people who were supposed to get loan modifications were not actually getting them.

Katie Porter

We now know that not only did Porter’s multi-million dollar operation fail to track who applied for or received assistance under the settlement, but that Porter also failed to gather any meaningful information regarding ethnicity, income, disabilities, and family status. According to surveys seen by Reuters, credit counselors faced a considerable degree of difficulty obtaining assistance for disadvantaged groups.

Porter contends that 150,000 homeowners received some form of relief under the mortgage settlement in California but admits that at least half of the aid went towards short sales of people who still ended up losing their homes. This equates to $14 billion worth of settlement funds put towards short sales and second mortgages that reimbursed the big banks for money they would have lost without the settlement funds.

The Reuters article quotes nonprofit, advocacy leaders that contend that in essence Kamala Harris took her eye off of the ball once she handed this to Katie Porter and the results of Porter’s stewardship make it hard to tell who exactly was helped by the settlement besides the $14 billion that the big banks recovered from short sales.

You can read the rest of the article here.

5 comments

  1. TheMarshallPlan

    This was the main Democrat (out of all the ones running in California) I wanted to lose, with her lying commercials (messing up the I Love Lucy episodes I recorded), acting as if she were a moderate, maybe even conservative, now add this hypocrisy along with her left wing voting record. However, if the OCGOP hasn’t upped there ground game 1000%, she’s going to win again in the same manner, especially with Dems eliminating neighbor hood polling places.

    • She lost on election night to Mimi Walters but over the next few days, 250,000 ballots showed up at the registrar’s office in OC. Katie likely “won” though “Ballot Harvesting”, a scheme cooked up by Jerry Brown. Two years ago, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law AB1921, which legalized the so-called practice of “ballot harvesting.” Previously, only a family member or someone living in the same household was permitted to drop off mail ballots for a voter, but the new allowed anyone – including political operatives – to collect and return them for a voter.

      • Obviously Ms Porter appeared not to have done a great job. However, the number of ballots reported to have been harvested, 250,000, in a District with 400.000 registered voters, is not credible.

        • Neal Kelley, the registrar for voters in Orange County was interviewed for this article and this is what he and the article said. Everyone should judge for themselves:

          Despite holding substantial leads on Election Day, many Republican candidates in California saw their advantage shrink, and then disappear, as late-arriving Democratic votes were counted in the weeks following the election. While no hard evidence is available, many observers point to the Democrats use of “ballot harvesting” as a key to their success in the elections.

          “Anecdotally there was a lot of evidence that ballot harvesting was going on,” Neal Kelley, the registrar for voters in Southern California’s Orange County, told Fox News.

          In Orange County – once seen as a Republican stronghold in the state– every House seat went to a Democrat after an unprecedented “250,000” vote-by-mail drop-offs were counted, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

          “People were carrying in stacks of 100 and 200 of them. We had had multiple people calling to ask if these people were allowed to do this,” Kelley said.

  2. It’s a little too late to know this now

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