Hawaii Free Press-
Four years after the ‘Bank of Abercrombie’ bill was laughed out of the legislature, the push for a state-owned bank is being revived in the form of HB326 sponsored by Reps. Calvin Say, Clift Tsuji, Marcus Oshiro, and Isaac Choy.
Their plan involves redirecting hundreds of millions of dollars of State money to an as-yet nonexistent bank focusing its lending efforts on troubled Hawaii mortgages. HB326 doesn’t actually create the bank, instead mandating the DCCA to come up with legislation. But the bill directs HHFDC to rush out with millions of dollars in taxpayer money and begin buying up “distressed residential properties encumbered by problematic mortgages” right away.
Testifying against a similar bill in 2012, Stefanie Sakamoto of the Hawaii Credit Union League explained: “…the state would be in an extremely precarious situation in the event of any financial difficulty within the bank, and within the state. Coupled with the notion of purchasing troubled mortgages, this could be an extremely dangerous concept, which would place taxpayer money at enormous risk….”
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