Bill Text: HI SR32 | 2019 | Regular Session | Amended


Bill Title: Supporting The Governor's Efforts In Investigating And Urging The Bank Of America To Return To Hawaii To Meet With Na Poe Kokua And The Hawaii Fair Lending Coalition Regarding A $150,000,000 Loan Commitment For Native Hawaiians On Hawaiian Homelands.

Spectrum: Strong Partisan Bill (Democrat 10-1)

Status: (Passed) 2019-04-04 - Report and Resolution Adopted, as amended (SD 1). [SR32 Detail]

Download: Hawaii-2019-SR32-Amended.html

THE SENATE

S.R. NO.

32

THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2019

S.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

SENATE RESOLUTION

 

 

SUPPORTING THE GOVERNOR'S EFFORTS IN INVESTIGATING AND URGING THE BANK OF AMERICA TO RETURN TO HAWAII TO MEET WITH NA POE KŌKUA AND THE HAWAII FAIR LENDING COALITION REGARDING A $150,000,000 LOAN COMMITMENT FOR NATIVE HAWAIIANS ON HAWAIIAN HOMELANDS.

 

 


     WHEREAS, in 1993, Na Poe Kōkua, an organization established to assist native Hawaiians with housing and related matters, formed the Hawaii Fair Lending Coalition (HFLC) and began researching how banks in Hawaii were treating native Hawaiians; and

 

     WHEREAS, among its findings, HFLC discovered that Bank of America was conducting discriminatory lending practices in the form of redlining, the practice of denying services to residents of certain areas based on the racial or ethnic composition of those areas, by not providing mortgages on Hawaiian homelands; and

 

     WHEREAS, in May 1994, as a result of HFLC's efforts and as a condition of Bank of America's acquisition of Liberty Bank, the Federal Reserve System and Office of Thrift Supervision ordered Bank of America to make $150,000,000 in Federal Housing Administration section 247 (FHA‑247) mortgages available on Hawaiian homelands by 1998; and

 

     WHEREAS, according to HFLC, by the 1998 deadline, Bank of America provided only $3,109,502 of the $150,000,000 in FHA-247 mortgages ordered by the Federal Reserve System; and

 

     WHEREAS, the Federal Reserve also required that Bank of America provide $30,000,000 in below market financing to low-income families on Kauai to help with the island's recovery from Hurricane Iniki, yet according to HFLC none of this required financing was provided on Kauai; and

 

     WHEREAS, according to HFLC, in 1998 Bank of America recommitted to meet the $150,000,000 loan commitment to native Hawaiians and to pay a $4,500,000 late fee based on the opportunity cost of its failure to fulfill its required commitment; and

 

     WHEREAS, according to HFLC, the Bank of America executive responsible for this recommitment was Catherine P. Bessant, then in charge of Community Development, who traveled to Hawaii with other senior bank executives in August 1998 to meet with Governor Cayetano, Hawaiian kupuna, and other community leaders from the HFLC at Iolani Palace; and

 

     WHEREAS, Bank of America claims it met its commitments in 2007 and allegedly received formal acknowledgment from the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands that the $150,000,000 commitment had been met; and

 

     WHEREAS, according to HFLC, in 2012 the Hawaiian Homes Commission unanimously confirmed that the Bank of America commitment remained unfulfilled and expressed support for HFLC's consistent and ongoing efforts to hold Bank of America accountable; and

 

     WHEREAS, on April 18, 2018, Governor Ige invited Catherine P. Bessant, now Chief Operations and Technology Officer of Bank of America, to return to Hawaii to meet with Na Poe Kōkua and HFLC to investigate Bank of America's $150,000,000 loan commitment to the Hawaiian people on their homelands; and

 

     WHEREAS, Bank of America originated $13,092,314 in loans on Hawaiian homelands from 1994 to 2012, and has made no FHA-247 loans since then, according to account information provided by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on August 20, 2018, in response to a Freedom of Information Act request; and

 

     WHEREAS, according to HFLC, based upon HUD data the preliminary estimates for Bank of America's late fees are approximately $360,600,000 for lost opportunities for building equity, reaping the benefits of a booming housing market, and paying affordable mortgages rather than skyrocketing rents over the last twenty years for 890 native Hawaiian families who should have received Bank of America mortgages by 1998, but did not, and the families who did receive loans up to thirteen years after the deadline; now, therefore,

 

     BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Thirtieth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2019, that this body supports the Governor's efforts in investigating and urging Bank of America to return to Hawaii to meet with Na Poe Kōkua and the Hawaii Fair Lending Coalition regarding Bank of America's $150,000,000 loan commitment to native Hawaiians on Hawaiian homelands; and

 

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Chief Operations and Technology Officer of Bank of America is urged to return to Hawaii to meet with HFLC, as invited by Governor Ige; and

 

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that in addition to providing the mortgages on Hawaiian homelands as ordered by the Federal Reserve System, Bank of America is requested to address the alleged $360,600,000 in opportunity costs for native Hawaiians on Hawaiian homelands and an alleged $4,500,000 late fee for failing to fulfill its required commitment; and

 

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the Chairman and each member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; Hawaii's Congressional delegation; Governor; Chairpersons of the County Councils of the County of Kauai, County of Hawaii, County of Maui, and City and County of Honolulu; President of Na Poe Kōkua; Chief Executive Officer of Bank of America; and Chief Operations and Technology Officer of Bank of America.

Report Title: 

Bank of America Mortgage Settlement

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