Today, NOC released the following statement:
The national settlement between banks and Attorneys General announced today is stronger than it might have been because of a grassroots campaign and pressure from a handful of state Attorneys General, including Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson, who publicly advocated for a tougher deal.
“The $25 billion settlement is only a down payment on what major banks like Wells Fargo need to pay to fix the damage they wrecked upon homeowners, our communities, and our economy,” said Steve Fletcher Executive Director of Minnesota Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (NOC). “Attorney General Lori Swanson was 100% right to demand that the settlement not let the banks off the hook for all of their misdeeds that led to the foreclosure crisis.”
“A full investigation is needed to bring the banks to the table for a settlement that goes much farther toward addressing the$700 billion in negative home equity created by the banks and save the homes of hard-working families facing foreclosure. We will continue to fight for homeowners like Monique White, Bobbie Hall—Minneapolis homeowners who have gathered widespread community support by demanding that USBank renegotiate their mortgages on fair terms that will all them to remain in their homes.”
NOC co-signed a statement by the Campaign for a Fair Settlement and community and advocacy groups around the country that called the deal "imperfect" but greatly improved from previous proposals. (See attached: "FORECLOSURE DEAL PAVES WAY FOR FULL INVESTIGATION INTO BANKS OVER ECONOMIC CRASH").
STATEMENT FROM THE CAMPAIGN FOR A FAIR SETTLEMENT
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 9, 2012
Available for comment are representatives from MoveOn, Working Families Party, The Courage Campaign, Rebuild the Dream, Campaign for America’s Future, Action NC, Action United, Organize Now! and Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada.
FORECLOSURE DEAL PAVES WAY FOR FULL INVESTIGATION INTO BANKS OVER ECONOMIC CRASH
Imperfect Settlement Greatly Improved After Efforts by Key Attorneys General, Progressive Groups to Limit Legal Immunity for Banks, Strengthen Enforcement, Improve Benefits for Homeowners
New investigations by feds, states should help win much larger program to reset mortgages to fair market value and fix the economy
The Campaign for a Fair Settlement, a coalition of progressive organizations nationally and in states hard hit by the foreclosure crisis working to hold banks accountable for their role in the foreclosure crisis, and protect homeowners and taxpayers, released the following statement on the Mortgage Servicing Deal made public today between Wall Street banks, state attorneys general and the Obama administration:
“While we have always believed that a full investigation of banks should precede any deal, this foreclosure deal accomplishes our central goal: severely limiting legal immunity for banks so multiple investigations into the role of banks in crashing the economy and housing market can proceed unimpeded.
“A full and unfettered investigation that exposes the true scope of fraudulent and criminal practices by big banks in creating the mortgage mess is the only way to win justice for the harm caused in the economic crisis and to win a plan to help all homeowners by resetting mortgages to fair market value on a scale that approaches the $700 billion in negative home equity created by the banks.
“Progressive groups nationwide are uniting in an unprecedented campaign to fix the economy for middle class homeowners by winning a program to reset mortgages to fair market value that is significantly larger than the relief in this deal.
“While the settlement is imperfect and key details have not yet come to light, the terms are greatly improved thanks to the leadership of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman of New York, along with Attorneys General Kamala Harris of California, Catherine Cortez-Masto of Nevada, Beau Biden of Delaware, Martha Coakley of Massachusetts, Lori Swanson of Minnesota. Because of their strong efforts to stand up to Wall Street on behalf of homeowners in their states, and because of the efforts of progressive organizations nationwide, there is no question that this is a better deal for homeowners and taxpayers today than when negotiations began.
“Positive terms of the deal include:
1. Limiting legal immunity to banks to narrow robo-signing issues, paving the way for multiple investigations of the residential mortgage backed securities market.
2. No waiver of claims by the state of New York in the lawsuit announced last week over theMortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman
3. Homeowners retain their rights of action against banks and servicers, now with $2.7 billion in guaranteed money to states for home counseling, legal and foreclosure services.
4. A down payment toward mortgage relief to homeowners in state impacted by the foreclosure crisis for refinancing, loan modifications and principal reduction.
Concerns with the deal
The deal contains several troubling provisions:
1. It provides only $1.5 billion in restitution for victims of foreclosure. While this money will provide some help to some homeowners, this amount is not nearly enough to compensate homeowners for their losses caused by the irresponsible and predatory behavior of Wall Street banks.
2. The enforcement provisions, while strengthened by the appointment of a federal monitor, remain murky at best. We are committed to holding the banks accountable to this deal and will demand significant penalties for banks that fail to comply.
“Now, under the leadership of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, the new mortgage crisis investigative unit created by President Obama must move ahead aggressively to hold Wall Street banks accountable for their role in crashing our economy, and secure overdue relief for Americans who have seen their home values plummet.
“Additionally, we urge continued muscular efforts by all state attorneys general to investigate the banks, and to pressure Wall Street to pay for the damage it has done to taxpayers, homeowners and the economy.
“Four years after the housing crash, it is outrageous that there has been no real investigation into banks’ fraudulent practices and no indictments of the bankers who crashed the economy, destroyed home values and killed millions of American jobs.
“It is critical for the administration to put the full weight and resources of the federal government behind a thorough investigation to demonstrate it has the political will to do what’s right for middle class homeowners and the economy.”
The Campaign for a Fair Settlement is a coalition of progressive organizations nationally and in states hit hardest by the foreclosure crisis working to hold banks accountable for their role in the foreclosure crisis, and protect homeowners and taxpayers.