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Press Releases

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...
June 28, 2011
CRL, the National Consumer Law Center and other groups yesterday filed a joint comment letter on why a new proposal by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency makes no sense, will not stand up in court, and should be withdrawn. [Read the letter.] Specifically, the OCC has proposed that nationally chartered banks can continue to ignore state laws governing mortgages, credit cards, bank accounts, and other financial products. That's the same OCC position that contributed to the current mortgage mess, at great cost to taxpayers, shareholders, retirees and homeowners. The OCC's proposal...
June 23, 2011
A diverse coalition of 44 consumer organizations, civil rights groups, lenders, real estate professionals and insurers joined with Members of Congress today urging regulators to make important changes to proposed mortgage lending regulations. The Coalition for Sensible Housing Policy released a joint white paper detailing how the proposed risk retention regulation, and the failure to properly define exemptions for Qualified Residential Mortgages (QRM), would significantly harm creditworthy borrowers while frustrating the nation's fragile housing recovery. The proposed QRM definition is...

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