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Press Releases

May 31, 2012
Californians need Attorney General Harris' Homeowner Bill of Rights to fix mortgage lending abuses and speed economic recovery. But lobbyists fighting it in Sacramento have now enlisted mortgage bankers from around the country to help them defeat it. (Read the e-mail sent by the Mortgage Action Alliance, the Mortgage Bankers Association's national e-advocacy division.) The MBA urged members nationwide to "Stop the Damaging Unintended Consequences of Sweeping California Legislation," and oppose common-sense protections of the Homeowner Bill of Rights, a legislative package modeled on the...
May 15, 2012
California's dire budget situation claimed a new casualty in the governor's May Revise yesterday: $410 million in bank penalty funds from the National Mortgage Settlement intended to assist California homeowners.The governor instead proposed to use the funds to reduce the state's deficit rather than to help borrowers access settlement programs. Attorney General Kamala Harris worked for well over a year to reach an acceptable settlement with banks who had harmed California homeowners with robo-signing and other mortgage servicing abuses. The $410 million in penalties paid by five big banks...
February 9, 2012
"The foreclosure settlement announced today will help build a stronger housing market while keeping more people in their homes. But while a significant step toward fixing the foreclosure crisis, this settlement was never intended or able to provide a comprehensive remedy. Much more work is required. Despite its limitations, the settlement requires real reforms in the mortgage servicing industry to stop sloppy business practices and out-and-out fraud. It also will help stabilize housing markets and property values by giving more homeowners a chance to restructure or refinance out of...
January 24, 2012
Washington, D.C. --- Based on what we've heard, the settlement between major banks and states' Attorneys General (AGs), the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Department of Justice would represent an important step forward in addressing foreclosure abuses. The settlement would include key reforms to clean up unfair mortgage servicing practices. It would also provide an important template for ways banks can use principal reduction to reduce unnecessary foreclosures and put the country back on a path to economic recovery. Not all details are available yet, and we...
January 18, 2012
As federal regulators consider setting down-payment standards on new mortgages, a new study shows such rules could push 60 percent of creditworthy borrowers into high-cost loans or out of the market altogether. A proposal by regulators to define a high-quality mortgage as one with at least a 20 percent down payment, or possibly 10 percent, would hobble a healthy segment of the housing market. While higher down payments do result in fewer defaults, the payoff is small relative to the number of creditworthy households who could be shut out of the market, the study shows. For the full study,...
December 24, 2011
North Carolina has been – and I hope will continue to be – a leader in finding effective solutions to predatory lending. Over the past decade, our lawmakers struck an effective balance between strong financial markets and fair consumer protections, enacting laws that are now models for other states and Congress. In the area of housing, North Carolina has often been in the forefront. Our state was the first to establish protection against predatory mortgage lending. It regulated mortgage brokers and lenders, and passed laws to prevent some of the worst subprime loan abuses. And...
December 21, 2011
Today's Department of Justice fair lending settlement with Countrywide Financial is welcome news in a housing market still reeling from the costs of rampant predatory lending. Countrywide was the largest of the rogue mortgage lenders that caused the current crisis. Regulators' lax lending rules and loose oversight allowed these bad practices to flourish. The DOJ settlement deals exclusively with Countrywide lending prior to the time it was acquired by Bank of America. The acquisition has been good for borrowers and the country because it took a bad actor off the street. But it has been a...
November 17, 2011
2.7 million of the mortgages made at the height of the housing bubble have ended in foreclosure and at least another 3.6 million likely will fail in the next few years, a new CRL research report shows. That means the nation is not yet midway through a foreclosure crisis that mires the economy. The report—Lost Ground, 2011—finds that while most people who have lost their homes have been white and in middle- or higher-income brackets, African-American and Latino families have suffered a disproportionate share of losses. The research also shows that differences in income and...
August 24, 2011
The latest Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) mortgage report shows a rise in 30-day delinquencies, including an increase in late payments on prime, fixed-rate mortgages. Overall, the picture hasn't changed significantly from first quarter, as one in 11 mortgage holders remains at serious risk of foreclosure (60 days delinquent or more). Serious delinquencies and foreclosure starts continued to show declines, as many loan servicers slow down evictions while correcting problems related to robo-signing and other illegal practices. Even so, more than 5.5 million U.S. homeowners are at some...
July 7, 2011
Mortgages servicers should be required to give every mortgage holder "a good-faith review of foreclosure alternatives" before taking steps to take his or her home, CRL president Michael Calhoun told Congress today.&p> In testimony before the House Financial Services Committee's Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit and Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, he recommended that servicers be required to do the following: exhaust alternatives before starting foreclosure proceedings disclose the numbers they use to calculate whether a mortgage...

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