In what can be considered very hypocritical, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager Maggie Williams sits on the board of one of the nation’s once-largest and now-bankrupt subprime mortgage lenders, Delta Financial Corporation. She joined the board of Delta in 2000, one month after a federal settlement was reached with the company over discriminatory lending practices. I hope she does not have the gall to say she had no knowledge of this. If she does, then it begs the question, of why is she running a major campaign, since she would have been rather dumb to not have knowledge of Delta Financial’s background. Hillary Clinton cannot be blamed for this, but it does call into question her so-called “experience” on all the issues. Clearly, she either had no clue that Maggie Williams was tied up in this subprime fallout, or she knew, and like the Bosnia trip lie, she may claim that she had no inkling.
What is damning is that as of September 2007, Williams owned 12,500 shares of Delta’s common stock, and by 2007 had earned at least $175,000 for her board obligations, according to company filings available in the Securities & Exchange Commission online database. Clinton’s “tough” stance on the housing crisis almost seems a little hypocritical, with Williams’ association with Delta. “I am reminded every day as I meet with families and listen to their stories that the effective functioning of our financial markets isn’t just about Wall Street. It’s about Main Street,” she said recently.“Many mortgage companies are reluctant to help families restructure their mortgages because they’re afraid of being sued by the investment banks, the private equity firms and others who actually own the mortgage papers,” Clinton said.
In 2006, Delta posted a net income of $28.8 million compared to $18 million a year earlier. It also originated a record $4 billion in loans that year, a five percent increase over 2005. In 2006, it had increased its line of credit by $500 million to a total of $1.75 billion.
Enter Maggie Williams….
Enter Maggie Williams….
She joined Delta’s board less less than a month after one federal official said Delta’s practices were “turning the American dream of homeownership into a nightmare.”At the time, Delta had a five percent foreclosure rate nationwide — double the industry standard — and was in the midst of settling several state and federal lawsuits that alleged predatory and discriminatory lending practices.
I guess she knew something was amiss initially, but either shrugged it off to actions by people with bad credit or she just didn’t give a damn. According to a June 2000 article in Directors and Boards magazine, Williams spent the six months prior to her decision to join the board asking a lot of questions and making a flurry of calls to Hugh Miller, president and CEO of Delta Financial Corp.“There are people who miss payments and have bad credit for all kinds of reasons,” she told the magazine. “It is a very middle-American kind of problem, although I believe it does affect poor people disproportionately.” I am sure that Fox News was only too happy to report this information to the general public.
Of course, her actual role in Delta is now hush-hush. Delta company officials would not elaborate on Williams’ role other than to say that “like other board members, Ms. Williams served in an advisory and oversight role and did not have a role in the day-to-day operations and management of the company.” A 2002 annual report, the only one found with this figure, shows Williams attended at least 70 percent of the company’s board meetings. So, while I don’t think Hillary Clinton can be blamed for this 100 percent, it proves once again that she does not have the best judgment as she claims. How could she not know this woman was on the board of a subprime lender? I hope she will be grilled on this. Just my thoughts, you be the judge…..
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Janet Shan is a freelance journalist and managing editor of the Hinterland Gazette, who is working on her first novel, a mystery based in the hills on Montego Bay.