BALTIMORE — Baltimore City Councilwoman Odette Ramos issued a “buyer beware” advisory Wednesday about a nonprofit mortgage provider she previously clashed with.
The Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, otherwise known as NACA, is a Boston-based nonprofit organization headed by CEO Bruce Marks.
Ramos said she learned that NACA attendees were “chained” by the organization in their search for housing. She said she had found reports of “shady loan deals and poor customer service”.
More than a decade ago, afound angry NACA customers across the country stuck in “an endless cycle of paperwork”.
In April, brandsat City Hall to support Chairman Nick Mosby’s proposed relaunch of the Dollar House program. Dozens of supporters poured in from the adjoining rooms and into the hallways.
When testifying before council, Marks accused Mayor Brandon Scott and Ramos of working for property developers.
He then led the rally directly to Scott’s office while the council was in session and knocked on the metal door, telling the crowd that the mayor had refused to meet with his organization to talk about the program.
It was later learned that these supporters were fulfilling a volunteer requirement for the mortgage program.
“[Marks] tried to incite a riot, insulted me — without knowing my years of advocating for housing justice — and I fought back,” Ramos said in the notice. “People he had with he were not from Baltimore and were compelled to be there by the nature of their “volunteer” requirement in hopes that one day they might get a home.”
Ramos recommended that residents seek out HUD-certified housing counseling organizations based in Baltimore.
The ten agencies Ramos recommends “will help repair credit, find benefits for homebuyers to make it easier to buy in this market, and ensure your mortgage is legit and works for you,” she said.
The city’s HUD-certified housing counseling agencies are: