Part-time faculty should be concerned about this newly released investigative piece, published yesterday in the East Bay Express. It alleges that a real estate network called Lone Star has been busy evicting people in Oakland and other East Bay communities after buying up “distressed” property. Should we campaign to have CalSTRS divest??
“….complaints made to the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau against Lone Star’s Caliber Home Loans company have been rising. Complaints jumped from 191 in 2013 to 428 in 2014. So far this year, Caliber has been the subject of 433 complaints. And according to The Times, Lone Star has foreclosed on at least 1,500 of the loans it has purchased from the federal government and government-sponsored housing agencies since 2010, and most of these foreclosures have been initiated in the last five months. In Alameda County, according to public records we reviewed, Lone Star, through multiple entities with obscure names such as “LSF7 Bermuda NPL III Trust,” owns dozens of mortgages. These entities have been named in official county documents recording the foreclosures of upwards of sixty homeowners in Oakland, San Leandro, Hayward, and other East Bay cities.
Over the years, Lone Star has relied on billions of dollars from public employee pension funds to buy out “distressed” home mortgages. And CalSTRS, which manages the retirement savings of 879,000 California public school employees, is among Lone Star’s biggest investors.The scale of Lone Star’s mortgage business is dizzying. Lone Star has purchased 18,747 mortgages worth $3.16 billion from the federal government and government-sponsored housing agencies since 2010, according to records maintained by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The acquisition of these mortgage loans was made through a government program that policymakers claim was intended to reduce foreclosures — not make them worse.
Here is the full article, written by Darwin Bond-Graham, a journalist I personally know and have found to be scrupulous in his research and allegations. Please circulate this disturbing news.