Keep it simple, Stupid!

As I mentioned in the previous post (which I am cleverly mentioning in vague terms so you will read it again), I felt like the well-intentioned celebrity foreclosure awareness campaign that kicked off in January of 2009 was a total train wreck.

The basic problem with the project was that there were way too many cooks in the kitchen. It was my understanding that the Fannie Mae Foundation was going to give HOPE NOW the $1.5 million and let the organization manage the project as we saw fit.

It didn’t happen that way.

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Celebrity Disaster, Part I

In late 2008, HOPE NOW received a sizable grant from the Fannie Mae Foundation to embark on a celebrity campaign designed to bring awareness to foreclosure prevention solutions and mortgage scams.

On paper it seemed like a worthwhile endeavor. The housing crisis was out of control and harnessing the power of celebrities, with ties to cities with major foreclosure issues, would go a long way in educating at-risk homeowners on the myriad mortgage solutions available to them.

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A New Player Emerges

As the mortgage crisis was transforming from a bad dream into a full blown nightmare in 2007, it was clear that a collaborative approach was the only way to deal with the unprecedented number of homeowners facing foreclosure nationwide.

The mortgage industry needed to not only band together, but it needed to bring the non-profits, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, mortgage insurers and other stakeholders to the table as well.

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Pointing Fingers and Placing Blame – The American Dream Becomes a Nightmare

One of the most interesting facets of the early days of the housing crisis was the blame game being played out on a daily basis in Congress, in the media and on the internet.

The consumer groups blamed the banks. The media blamed the banks. The government blamed the banks. And vice versa. Plus, the banks blamed the investors. Everyone blamed Wall Street. It was vicious cycle with everyone looking for easy answers as the economy sank into recession.

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Cram Down? Say what?

My time at the Mortgage Bankers Association was critical to my career, but honestly I wasn’t passionate about the work. It was interesting and I worked with amazingly talented people, but I never felt a real calling there.

This “journey” I am chronicling is definitely going to focus more on my work after MBA, but I am going to write about a few select moments from my MBA experience that will put my later role in the housing crisis into perspective. Translation – this entry will be longer than normal.

It was at MBA where I really learned about the major players and the issues behind the recession, and their effect on the mortgage industry, the housing market and the nation’s homeowners.

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