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‘Town Hall’ meeting just a public relations event

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Fellow taxpayers should know about another million dollars of their money going down the drain. We recently received an invitation to a Mortgage Crisis Town Hall to be held at the Maidu Community Center. It was standing room only well before 6:30 p.m. when my husband and I arrived. We were too cheerfully welcomed by our host, Assemblyman Ted Gaines. With him in turn at the microphone were Senator Dave Cox, Rosario Marin, Secretary, State and Consumer Services Agency, Jeff Davi, Commissioner, Department of Real Estate, and Assemblyman Roger Niello, all in amazingly good spirits considering the occasion. That was because it wasn't a town hall by anyone's definition. It was a public relations event for the assemblymen and company and an opportunity to suck the last drop of blood out of their prey for the lenders and their firewall of loss mitigation counselors. In between congratulating one another for attending, we were told that this really wasn't the state's problem to solve and that what we really needed to do was communicate with our lenders. To help us do this, they had invited people set up with their laptops on folding tables around the room. Incredibly, these lenders' representatives were going to help us all by providing an individual consultation about our entire financial problem. For us it was déjà vu. How much time could possibly be spent with each family? Five to 10 minutes? Isn't this how we were sold these bogus loans in the first place? Hurrying us through the details, the paper work, and playing on our fears? It broke my heart and outraged me to look around that room. There were so many tired, frightened people with every right to look to their government to offer them some kind of financial protection from these moneylenders. Taxpayers should demand that instead of a million dollar series of worthless workshops, California should follow the lead of Massachu-setts, New York, Michigan, Ohio and Texas and set a moratorium on these foreclosures and force these lenders to work directly with their borrowers to keep them in their homes. Otherwise, the only ones who will survive this crisis will be the ones who caused it in the first place. Rebecca Beauchene, Roseville