Watch CBS News

Councilwoman Ramos warns Baltimore residents of mortgage lender with "questionable practices"

CBS News Live
CBS News Baltimore Live

BALTIMORE -- Baltimore City Councilwoman Odette Ramos on Wednesday issued a "buyers beware" notice about a nonprofit mortgage provider she has previously clashed with. 

The Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, otherwise known as NACA, is a Boston-based nonprofit led by CEO Bruce Marks. 

Ramos said she has learned that NACA participants are "strung along" by the organization in their search for a home. She said she has found reports of "shady loan deals and bad customer service."

Over a decade ago, a CBS Miami investigation found angry NACA customers across the country stuck in "an endless cycle of paperwork."

In April, Marks led a rally at City Hall in support of Council President Nick Mosby's proposed revival of the Dollar House program. Dozens of supporters poured out of overflow rooms and into hallways.

When he testified before the council, Marks accused Mayor Brandon Scott and Ramos of working for real estate developers.

He then led the rally straight to Scott's office while the council was in session and banged on the metal door, telling the crowd the mayor had refused to meet with his organization to talk about the program.

It was later learned those supporters were fulfilling a volunteer requirement for the mortgage program. 

"[Marks] tried to incite a riot, insulted me - not knowing about my years of advocacy for justice in housing - and I fought back," Ramos said in the notice. "The people he had with him were not from Baltimore and were obligated to be there by the nature of their "volunteer" requirement in the hope that one day they could get a house."

Ramos recommended that residents seek out HUD-certified housing counseling organizations based in Baltimore.

The ten agencies Ramos recommended "will help repair credit, find homebuyer benefits so it is easier to purchase in this market, and ensure that your mortgage is legitimate and works for you," she said.

The HUD-certified housing counseling agencies in the city are:

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.