Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Operation Hope

Crown Prince Haakan and John Bryant Hope
John Hope Bryant is the founder of Operation Hope, a non-profit center, partnered with carefully chosen banks, that provide services to those who have no hope of purchasing a home, due to bad credit, financial illiteracy and lack of assets, and assists them through the process of saving for home ownership, to the point where they are empowered to buy and own their own home.

Operation Hope works hand in hand with each person. They begin the process by pulling a credit report on him or her, map out a strategy to get the person’s credit score up, open a savings account and will match every dollar that person saves up to $7,500. Throughout this whole process Operation Hope emphasizes how important it is to make each person financially literate not only for the individual but for the health of our economy.

John Hope Bryant asserts that healthy, responsible sub prime lending has lifted more poor people into home ownership than anything in the last 50 years. Operation Hope assumes everyone has common sense, a sense of dignity and a desire to do better but have not had access or the opportunity to learn the very basics of finance.

"It is arrogant that some people should not or don’t deserve or shouldn’t be a homeowner. If you’re renting and you can afford a payment equal to what a mortgage payment would be…why wouldn’t we want that person to be a stakeholder? They will be net contributor to the American Dream and they’ll feel better about themselves."

Mr. Bryant points out that the current sub prime lending crisis is mostly a result of independent mortgage brokers who have been misrepresenting under qualified financially illiterate people from the poor to people of middle-class. These mortgage brokers have no ongoing relationship with these people. Banks, on the other hand have a long term relationship with their borrowers and Operation Hope will only partner with FDIC publicly traded banks and so far, none of Operation Hope’s loans have gone bad.


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