Yes for Proposition 2

On Nov. 7, Texans have an opportunity to make loans available to more Texas homeowners while still maintaining the strict consumer protections that have served the state so well. The ballot includes seven statewide constitutional amendments. As a banker, I’m especially interested in Proposition 2 because it presents the best chance we’ve had for a workable home equity law in Texas since home equity was first authorized 20 years ago. In case you didn’t know, Texas was the last state to authorize home-equity lending and, as you may know firsthand, the law doesn’t work very well.

Why does Proposition 2 make sense for Texans?

Proposition 2 reduces the existing cap on fees that can be charged to originate a home-equity loan from 3 percent of the total loan amount to 2 percent of the total loan amount. By changing the calculation of the fees, home-equity loans are accessible to more Texans.

Proposition 2 abolishes the constitutional prohibition on home-equity lending on properties with ag-use exemptions. This means that if you live on your working farm or ranch, if Prop 2 is supported by a majority of Texans, then you too will be eligible to borrow the equity you’ve built in your home.

Proposition 2 gives you the option of refinancing a home-equity loan into a non-home equity loan. What does this mean? If your home-equity loan has been on the books for a year or longer, then you’ll have the choice of refinancing that loan into a traditional mortgage, which comes with a lower rate.

Texas’ home equity laws are unique and afford homeowners with a lot of protections. Prop 2 continues these protections and provides borrowers with additional flexibility to make wise financial decisions for themselves and their families. The 80-percent loan-to-value ratio, for example, means that 20 percent of the equity in your home is always protected.

I urge you to go to the polls and vote for Prop 2 and allow more Texans to benefit from this helpful tool. Early voting, which began Monday, continues this week and concludes Nov. 3.

David Lacy, President & CEO, Community Bank & Trust, Waco

Pity Puerto Rico

What Trump the monster is doing to Puerto Rico is just plain cruel. Yes, Puerto Rico had problems before Maria, but much of this was due to competition from other Latin American countries. Other reasons that its citizens had nothing to do with also played a role. But the biggest truth behind Trump’s not wanting to assist Puerto Rico is obviously race. He has no bones about making it difficult for minorities there.

The real irony is his efforts to unravel Obamacare will hurt the working-class white racists who voted him. All of this is a part of the disastrous eight or so months he has been in office. Anyone who thinks he is doing a great job in office is either brainwashed by conservative outlets or a moron. Or both.

John Vickrey, Norman, Oklahoma