So fighting foreclosures is a BAD thing?

April 20, 2010

Opponents of financial reform can't publicly attack the idea of fixing financial markets and protecting consumers, so instead they try to discredit groups like CRL who are pushing for reform. Our attackers are really busy these days recycling a string of old arguments that CRL has already refuted.  For example: a "new" claim that CRL used a $15 million grant from Paulson & Co. for its own financial gain.  In fact, we used the grant to create the Institute for Foreclosure Legal Assistance (IFLA), which provides legal help to families facing foreclosure.  IFLA is managed by the National Association of Consumer Advocates.

Using the Paulson grant, IFLA distributed grants to 34 legal services organizations in 30 states.  In only two years, these organizations have reached more than 11,000 borrowers for initial interviews, taken on 5,400 cases, and already saved almost 1,400 homeowners from foreclosure (there are more cases pending).  The foreclosures avoided so far have preserved $300 million in neighborhood equity as well.  IFLA funding also enabled grantees to raise an additional $16.5 million from other sources for foreclosure relief.

Foreclosures in 1Q 2010 reached the highest level ever recorded, and continue to drag down the housing market and prospects for economic recovery. Maybe if our attackers fought against foreclosures as hard as they fight against reform, we'd all be better off.

 P.S. Another recycled claim today -- a complaint about our lobbying where they admit they "lack the facts."  See our response.

P.P.S. Americans For Prosperity (AFP) criticizes the fact that Eric Stein, a former CRL officer with years of experience in consumer protection, now works for the Treasury Department on consumer protection issues. AFP seems to have no problem with the fact that other Treasury officials and employees previously worked for Wall Street or the financial industry. And where are the AFP complaints that financial lobbyists have swarmed Washington trying to water down or block financial reform?

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