What the Attorney's General Settlement means to you: We still need to work!
There have been claims that the foreclosure crisis is leveling out – the number of foreclosures have
declined year over year from 2010 to 2011. This is true, the reason for this decline however is that
the five big banks were under investigation by all 50 state Attorneys General for loan servicing and
foreclosure abuses. They slowed down their practice of robo-signing during the investigation and thus,
Colorado and the rest of the nation saw a drop in the foreclosure rates.
The federal government settled with the five big banks at the beginning of the year and now it is
projected that the pace of foreclosures will actually accelerate in 2012. The settlement does not
provide wide spread relief to homeowners all across the country who qualify for loan modifications
or are underwater on their mortgage. Modification guidelines are routinely ignored by banks and this
settlement does not affect Fannie and Freddie backed loans – which encompass at least 56% of all
We still have a lot of work to do! The financial crisis pushed one out of every four America homeowners
with a mortgage underwater. Economists and housing experts agree that foreclosures will continue
to pile up and the U.S. housing market and economy will struggle as long as this many families are
drowning in debt. Yet the big banks that caused the crisis have until now pushed off the day of
reckoning when they come clean with the true worth of the assets on their books. BUT that is finally
changing. Although far too small in size, the Attorney General Mortgage Fraud settlement put principal
reduction on the table as the primary remedy for bank misconduct. At the same time, the Obama
Administration has changed course on its foreclosure prevention policy, increasing incentives for
banks to reduce principal as part of the HAMP program. And a number of smaller mortgage servicers
have begun to voluntarily reduce principal, because they realize that it prevents costly defaults and
Large-scale principal reduction – allowing families to refinance their mortgages at the true value of
their homes – is within reach for the first time in four years. But only if we can press the Obama
Administration to take a much tougher stand for underwater homeowners and successfully overcome
the resistance to principal reduction among the big banks and politicians who are protecting them.
What you can do today is ask Obama to fire Ed DeMarco. He is a career beauraucrat and a holdover
from the Bush Administration. He also happens to be the most powerful person in American housing. He is
standing between us and national principal reductions.
Stay tuned for more information as we ramp up a campaign to organize underwater homeowners into
action – so we can win national principal reductions and reset our economy.
For more information about the settlement and how you might be affected please contact Attorney
Read more: Settlement Q & A for Consumers