Summary: In this interview, Terry Goddard, the former Attorney General of Arizona, explains how devastating the drop in real estate prices was for new housing developments around the state. Goddard describes how investors thought that the housing boom of the preceding era would never end; he noticed people acting irresponsibly and taking on multiple mortgages in the early 2000s. Goddard recalls his role in several high-profile multi-state lawsuits during this period, including litigation brought against mortgage lenders like AmeriQuest. He discusses the disproportionate impact of predatory lending on minority communities in Arizona. Goddard also reflects on the extensive efforts of other state attorney generals, including Tom Miller of Iowa, to expose what he describes as fraudulent actions by lenders. Goddard blames the crisis on good intentions and greed: while some federal players wanted to expand homeownership and accessible housing, other private players on Wall Street took advantage of this to increase high-risk loans while the government turned a blind eye.
Biography: Terry Goddard began his legal career at the Arizona Attorney General’s Office as a white-collar crime prosecutor. From 1984 to 1990, he served as mayor of Phoenix and served until he resigned the office in 1990 to run for Governor.
From 1995 to 2002, Goddard served as Arizona state director for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. During that time, he was elected to the board of the Central Arizona Water Conservation District, representing Maricopa County, and served as a public member of the board of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco and as a trustee of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
From 2003 to 2010, Goddard served as the Arizona attorney general and joined several multi-state lawsuits related to mortgage-lending. During that time, he also served as chair of the Council of Western Attorneys General (CWAG), as a member of CWAG’s executive committee and as co-chair of the Tobacco Committee for the National Association of Attorneys General. Goddard was again the Democratic nominee for governor of Arizona in 2010.
A former president of the National League of Cities, HUD official and founder of non-profit organizations, Goddard has a plethora of practical experience in the planning and management of major urban economic development programs, including the areas of housing finance and historic preservation. A graduate of Harvard College and Arizona State Law School, Goddard served an active duty tour in the US Navy and retired as a commander after 27 years in the Naval Reserves.