Advocates Demand Transparency, Guarantees that Pending $10b Foreclosure Settlement Will be Used Aggressively To Help The Hardest Hit, Particularly Communities of Color
$8.5 Billion Foreclosure Settlement Could Benefit Homeowners, But Must Heed Lessons from Robo Settlement To Be Effective
The Campaign for a Fair Settlement, the leading watchdog group monitoring the $25b robo-signing settlement between the states and the banks and pressing for policies to help homeowners, reacted today to news of the $8.5b pending settlement between 10 banks and the Office of the Comptroller for the Currency, urging the OCC to ensure that any agreement helps those hardest hit by the crisis.
“Replacing the stunningly ineffective Independent Foreclosure Review with a deal that requires specific amounts of relief in the form of principal reduction and relief to borrowers who were foreclosed on is long-overdue,” said Brian Kettenring, Coordinator of the Campaign for a Fair Settlement. “The IFR process wasn’t benefiting anyone except a few overpaid bank consultants.”
“But, as recent progress reports on last February’s robo-signing settlement have demonstrated, we need to be absolutely certain that this settlement does not absolve the banks of responsibility to help the hardest hit and end abusive practices. Any agreement between the OCC and the banks must be used quickly and aggressively to help the families and communities hurt worst by predatory lending and mass foreclosures, including African American and Latino communities who have been left behind by implementation of the $25b settlement.”
Earlier this month, CFS and its partners spoke out about failures in the implementation of last February’s robo signing settlement, arguing arguing that banks are still engaging in the kinds of abusive servicing practices that were outlawed by the deal, like dual tracking. CFS also raised concerns about the lack of transparency in the $25b deal, which did not include reporting structures.
Kevin Whelan, Campaign Director of the Home Defenders League, a national movement of underwater homeowners working to demand solutions to help people stay in their homes, added: “While the total amount, $10 billion is small compared to the damage the banks’ reckless and predatory behavior caused and is no substitute for criminal accountability, it has the potential to benefit communities and families suffering from the mortgage crisis. But homeowners across the country expect this funding to be a catalyst for relief, not a get out of jail free card for predatory lenders.”
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