Michelle Malkin

While she was reneging on her mortgage IOUs, she somehow managed to collect rent on her basement (for which she was taken to court) and rack up a criminal record on charges of theft and second-degree assault. The house was sold seven months ago after two years of court-negotiated attempts to allow Hanks to dig herself out of her debt hole.

Beverly, who claims to be a foreclosure victim himself, was charged with burglary for the break-in and released. He is literally a housing thug -- having been separately charged with second-degree assault and property destruction earlier this year; battery, assault, handgun possession and possession of a deadly weapon with intent to injure in 1992; and slapped with a peace order issued against him in 2006.

The Washington Post spotlighted Beverly's and Hanks' activism without following up on their criminal records and financial negligence. The paper also shilled for ubiquitous ACORN foreclosure "victim" Veronica Peterson of Columbia, Md., recycling uncritically her accusation that she had been tricked into buying a $545,000 home by a broker who inflated her income and misrepresented her assets. "These loans were weapons of mass destruction," the single mom of three and home day care provider who couldn't keep up with her mortgage bills told the Post reporter. "They destroyed our credit, our lives, and they blew up in our face."

But a look at court and real estate records exposed the truth. Edward Ericson Jr., a reporter for the independent Baltimore City Paper, discovered that the "victim" -- who took out a full mortgage with no down payment on a house she couldn't afford -- looks more like a predatory borrower. And amazingly, Peterson lived in the home more than year without paying rent or mortgage.

"The online court and land records show that Peterson closed on the house on Nov. 3, 2006, with two loans from Washington Mutual. The main mortgage, for $436,000, had a starting interest rate of 8.5 percent, adjusting in December. … The second loan, often called a 'piggyback,' totaled $109,000 with an interest rate of 11.25 percent. … Those two payments together would have totaled $3,386.17 per month. That's before property taxes, upkeep, utilities, etc. Peterson would have to earn at least $50,000 per year just to make her house payments."

The foreclosure was filed in July 2007. "The balance on the main note then was $435,735.86," Ericson reported, plus unpaid interest and late fees -- suggesting she made at most one payment on the house. "Had she made all of her payments, Peterson would have spent about $64,335 so far. Had she rented a similar place, she would have been charged around $2,500 per month -- a total of $47,500 -- since January 2007. Instead, she apparently paid nothing."

Who are the real suckers? Who are the true victims? If only the reporters swallowing their stories were half as diligent about background checks of ACORN thugs as they were with Joe the Plumber.


Michelle Malkin

Michelle Malkin is the author of "Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies" (Regnery 2010).

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