Tuesday, October 14, 2008

ACORN: Tax Violations, Predatory Lending, Too

This is getting more serious.

New testimony obtained by a consumer advocate group from former employees of ACORN paints a startling picture of the apparent misuse of taxpayer dollars to further the group’s left-wing political agenda.

Four former employees of ACORN and of ACORN Housing Corp. have supplied sworn affidavits to the Consumer Rights League that provide eyewitness accounts of how the two organizations have commingled funds and resources, in apparent violation of federal law.

The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) bills itself as a non-partisan group, supported by tax-exempt contributions from individuals and corporations.

The ACORN Housing Corp. (AHC), an ACORN affiliate, receives more than 40 percent of its funding from government sources, ostensibly to promote affordable housing to low- and middle-income families.

But according to CRL, internal documents obtained from whistleblowers suggest that ACORN has failed to maintain the proper distinction between its tax-exempt housing work and its aggressive political activities.

I'm shocked, Ricky. SHOCKED.

And it gets better.

In the advice it offers consumers, AHC warns about “predatory” lending. And yet, CRL alleges in a report issued earlier this year that AHC engages in many of the same practices it condemns.

“ACORN’s ‘financial justice’ operations attack lenders for ‘exotic’ loans, but AHC has recommended ten-year interest-only loans (which deny equity to the buyer) and reverse mortgages (which can be detrimental to senior citizens),” the report states.

AHC also has worked to obtain mortgages for undocumented workers, and has advised intake officers to counsel consumers how to use “under the table” income not reported to the Internal Revenue Service in order to increase their borrowing ability

Senator Dodd: call your office.

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