Obstruction Loses! American Homeowners Win! The End of the DeMarco Era.

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Sometimes, small changes can have big impacts.

If the debate over the Senate’s parliamentary procedure in the case of presidential nominations made you want to take a long snooze, no one would blame you. But thanks to new Senate rules, a minority of senators can no longer block a presidential appointment for no reason without standing up and saying why.

And thanks to this long-awaited rules change, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has its first new director since the Bush Administration: former North Carolina Rep. Mel Watt.

Democrats have taken advantage of their weakening of filibusters and muscled through the Senate President Barack Obama’s pick to lead a housing regulation agency.

By 57-41 Tuesday, senators confirmed Rep. Mel Watt to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

Obama nominated the North Carolina Democrat in May but he’s been in limbo ever since. Republicans have said he’s not qualified, while Democrats say the 21-year House veteran has the needed experience.

Until Tuesday, Watt’s nomination was blocked because Democrats needed 60 Senate votes to end a GOP filibuster. But last month, the chamber’s majority Democrats lowered that threshold to a simple majority.

Here’s why this is a big deal for American homeowners:

Since Republicans in the Senate wouldn’t allow a fair vote on a new FHFA Director, we were stuck with Bush’s guy: Ed DeMarco. DeMarco was a longtime opponent of government efforts to help homeowners affected by Wall Street’s brazen fraud and abuse. Specifically, DeMarco opposed the practice of “principal reduction,” encouraging banks to rewrite mortgages for underwater homeowners. Time after time, he rejected proposals from the Obama Administration to lend this kind of assistance to struggling people who had lost their homes or were about to lose their homes.

“I don’t know what DeMarco’s specific legal mandate is,” wrote economist Paul Krugman, “But there is simply no way that it makes sense for an agency director to use his position to block implementation of the president’s economic policy…This guy needs to go.”

DeMarco continued his harmful policies to the very end:

DeMarco was so extreme that he even opposed allowing lenders to sell foreclosed homes back to the previous owners, even if they had been victims of predatory loans and even if they made the best offer to purchase the house. Realizing that Watt would soon be sitting in his seat, DeMarco — on the eve of the vote to confirm his replacement — put into place mortgage fees that punish homeowners in states that have enacted strong protections against foreclosure abuses.

Rarely does one person stand in the way of relief for so many. But DeMarco was that guy. And now he’s gone.

Housing and community groups have high hopes for new Director Watt, a member of Congress who supported the creation of Elizabeth Warren’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and worked to get anti-predatory lending provisions into the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform bill.

Photo by @CVHaction on Twitter

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Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on FHFA Acting Director DeMarco’s Decision to Deny Homeowners the Opportunity for Principal Reduction

The following is a statement from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.

We are deeply disappointed by today’s announcement by Federal Housing Finance Agency Acting Director Edward DeMarco that he will continue to prohibit Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from participating in the Obama Administration’s mortgage principal reduction program.  DeMarco’s decision is irresponsible.

As Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner has observed, providing principal reduction for struggling homeowners is also in the best interests of taxpayers. The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s own analysis has found that participating in the program could save $3.6 billion for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and $1 billion for the taxpayers.

The combination of a real estate bust, high unemployment, and falling real wages has created the perfect storm for homeowners.  Millions of working families owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth.  The U.S. economy cannot recover until decisive action is taken to address the housing and foreclosure crisis.

Principal reduction is the most effective way to prevent foreclosures, stabilize housing prices, and get our economy working again.  By refusing to allow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to engage in principal reduction, DeMarco will deny relief to as many as half a million struggling homeowners.

Despite today’s setback, we will continue to work with the Obama Administration to fight to make assistance available to struggling homeowners.  We need federal housing policies that will help make it possible for working families to own their homes, not short-sighted polices that protect the interests of bankers and Wall Street.


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Good News: California Takes a Stand Against Foreclosure Fraud

In the years since the vicious, recession-inducing collapse of the housing market, we’ve learned more and more about the irresponsibility and bad practices that caused the bubble and the crash. The banks and the mortgage-servicing industry abandoned all reasonable standards in their rush to turn people’s homes and debts into the equivalent of casino chips—and the consequences have been enormous.

Fortunately, California has taken the strongest step yet to hold financial institutions accountable for their wrongdoing and protect people from illegal foreclosures. Yesterday the state legislature passed a “Homeowners’ Bill of Rights,” which would give homeowners more power in facing the institution that holds their mortgage. The state’s Attorney General, Kamala Harris, sponsored the bill. The provisions include making sure homeowners have one point of contact and can’t get foreclosed while they’re pursuing a loan modification, stronger penalties for “robo-signing” of loans, and increased rights for homeowners to sue banks if they’ve been the subject of violations. (David Dayen, a Californian who follows this issue closely, has more analysis.)

The new law builds off of the multi-state mortgage fraud settlement negotiated this spring, but goes considerably farther. Critically, it actually provides a deterrent to bad practices by banks and mortgage servicers.

The biggest factor in the foreclosure crisis is the uncertainty that comes from a mix of shoddy paperwork, careless repackaging and resale, and dramatic decline in housing values. In many cases, people are paying much more than their home is worth and they don’t even know who owns their mortgage. Many people who are facing foreclosure or eviction have done everything they thought was required of them, and a wave of local, grassroots activism has sprung up to combat unfair foreclosures.

California’s move comes at a time when national politics is losing focus on this crisis. Foreclosure hurts not just families who might lose their home, but also their neighbors and the economy generally, and yet we still haven’t done enough to fix what’s wrong. “There has been no shortage of good ideas, what has been lacking is will,” says law professor Jean Braucher, who says that there’s a sense of “foreclosure fatigue” among Washington policymakers. Well, people in neighborhoods riddled with evictions are getting tired of it, too.

What should really happen is principal reduction—the banks and servicers who hold mortgages should write them down so that people are paying based on what their house is worth now, not at the height of the bubble. The fact that people are having trouble paying for their homes is a big drag on our economy and principal reductions would help give it a boost.

Still, California’s move to increase the power of homeowners is a big step in the right direction. We need to make sure the financial industry is doing its job, and that means putting real penalties on misconduct and giving it the incentive to help people stay in their homes. California is the biggest housing market in the country, and this new law should be a model for other states. Harris, and the grassroots activists who pushed for tougher laws on mortgage fraud, should be commended.

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Arizona Pulls a “Scott Walker” With Funds Meant for Struggling Homeowners

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and her allies in the state legislature are seeking to use millions of dollars intended for struggling homeowners to pay for prison construction and tax cuts instead, echoing a policy put in place earlier this year in Wisconsin by Governor Scott Walker.

Remember the $26 billion foreclosure settlement, the one agreed upon by the five biggest banks and 49 state Attorneys General? As one of the hardest hit states, Arizona is getting $1.6 billion, as well as an additional $97.7 million to be overseen by the office of Attorney General Tom Horne, to be used for “housing counselors, legal aid, hotlines, and to help stressed homeowners with their payments.”

Two main things to understand about these funds: they are wildly insufficient given the scale of the problem, but all the same they are extremely crucial. In March, Arizona had the highest foreclosure rate in the country, according to RealtyTrac, with 9,497 foreclosures. If any state needs all the help it can get when it comes to homeowner education, assistance, and relief, it’s Arizona.

Even so, Governor Brewer and Republican state legislators want to siphon $50 million from those funds to “relieve pressure on the budget.” So in other words, use money intended to help homeowners for…other things.

Lawmakers say the money amounts to a pricey outreach and education fund. It won’t hurt to take half of it, House Speaker Andy Tobin said.

“We’re using the funds to relieve the pressure on the budget,” said Tobin, R-Paulden. Those stresses range from a push to replace welfare dollars lost to federal budget cuts to prison construction, he said.

How is this justified? You can thank a loophole in the settlement language, which says the funds can be used “to compensate the state for costs resulting from the alleged unlawful conduct of the defendants.” Arizona lawmakers like House Speaker Tobin are claiming that since foreclosure fraud hurt homeowners, which in turn hurt tax revenues and by extension the state budget, they can use the money for whatever they damn well please.

They can make this logical jump without acknowledging a.) that the big banks committed any actual fraud, or b.) that maybe Gov. Brewer’s $538 million tax handouts to businesses has anything to do with budget problems.

What’s scarier is that this move by Arizona is not unprecedented. They are doing exactly what Gov. Scott Walker already did in Wisconsin.

In February, Walker and Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen decided to use $25.6 million of Wisconsin’s share of the foreclosure fraud settlement to plug holes in his state budget. For justification, he used the very same loophole in the settlement language:

“Just like communities and individuals have been affected, the foreclosure crisis has had an effect on the state of Wisconsin, in terms of unemployment. . . . This will offset that damage done to the state of Wisconsin,” Walker said.

A week later, Missouri followed suit, taking $40 million from their share for the state’s general fund. Ohio decided to allocate $75 million meant for homeowner assistance to actually demolish vacant homes. South Carolina legislators insidiously pushed for using $31 million of settlement funds for corporate tax breaks.

Of all the horrific policies that have come out of the offices of governors like Walker in the past two years, this is one of the worst – and the most under-reported. With Walker and Brewer giving out huge tax handouts to businesses, cutting services and education, and then dipping into foreclosure fraud assistance to pay for their bad decisions, they are no different than a modern day Bonnie and Clyde. Robbery in multiple steps is still robbery, even if you’re a governor.

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When A Veteran Is More Scared of the Housing Crisis Than War

In Ohio, over 482,000 homes are “underwater,” meaning the value of those homes is less than the amount owed to the bank in mortgages. The values of those underwater homes total a whopping $14,943,488,000, or almost $15 billion.

Even though it rarely breaks through the noise of national debate, the mortgage crisis continues to be an enormous drag on our economic recovery. AlterNet estimates that homes in the U.S. lose $500,000 of value every hour, and there are thousands of foreclosure actions taken every day.

In the Cleveland area, there was recently some controversy about a foreclosure prevention event planned for the summer. An article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer detailed the disagreements between the various organizations involved, but skipped over the enormity of the crisis facing homeowners in Ohio and nationwide.

In this context, Working America member and Vietnam War veteran Michael Lime wrote a letter to the editor of the Plain Dealer titled “Struggling homeowners need more than unreasonable mortgage modifications”:

I don’t know anything specifically about the Neighborhood Assistance Corp. of America (“Out-of-town foreclosure aid group has local critics,” Thursday), but I do know the importance of having real help for struggling homeowners. I believe the housing crisis is a significant stumbling block to real economic recovery.

As a small-business owner, I certainly felt the crush of the economic downturn. Although there has recently been a slight pickup in business, the sustained slowdown meant I fell behind on my mortgage payments. I was contacted by a group supposedly trying to help; of course, they required money up front but failed to do anything tangible. I ended up on the brink of foreclosure and accepted a loan modification that added thousands of dollars and 25 years to my mortgage — on a house worth half of what it was worth prior to the recession. I’m still not sure how I’m going to make it.

I am more scared now than I was while serving in Vietnam. We need real mortgage relief for people in my situation — not the drop in the bucket of the recent settlement. Groups that actually help struggling homeowners, not take advantage of them, are critical, too. Otherwise, the housing crisis will continue to weigh down the U.S. economy.

Michael Lime, Avon Lake

As we’ve written before, the $26 billion foreclosure fraud settlement reached with the biggest banks barely scratches the surface of the nearly $700 billion problem. In addition, the Acting Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency Ed DeMarco could singlehandedly act to resolve the mortgage crisis by reducing the principal on underwater mortgages.

For Michael Lime and millions of others, take action. Tell Ed DeMarco to address the mortgage crisis, or step aside for someone who will.

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Agency That Wall Street Did Not Want Announces Changes To Mortgage Industry

CFPB Director Richard Cordray in 2008

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the agency created as part of the 2010 Wall Street reform bill, announced yesterday plans to change the way the mortgage servicing industry interacts with consumers.

“For too long, mortgage servicers have not been held accountable to their customers, and the result has been profoundly punishing to homeowners in distress,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “It’s time to put the ‘service’ back in mortgage servicing.”

The Hill reports on the proposed changes:

Under the CFPB’s proposal, if a homeowner gets behind on their mortgage and is facing foreclosure, the servicer would be required to make a “good faith” effort to contact the borrower and explain the foreclosure process, as well as provide counseling options.

Remember all foreclosures that were approved through “robo-signing?” That means the banks didn’t verify the paperwork – or even check if they technically owned the property – before starting the process of foreclosure.

The CFPB is also considering requiring servicers to have staff dedicated to working with struggling borrowers either facing foreclosure or trying to avoid it. These employees would have easy access to the borrower’s records, as well as the ability to determine if a loan modification could be pursued to avoid foreclosure. A common complaint by struggling borrowers was their inability to discuss their plight with an employee with their servicer.

Right, because a discussion with the servicer might result in the bank having to check their records to see if the seizure of a home was, what’s the word, legal.

Homeowners and policymakers were also frustrated by error-ridden documents at many servicers. Under the CFPB’s plan, servicers would have to address found errors within 30 days, or an even shorter timeframe if a foreclosure or payoff is at stake.

Our response to all of this? Fantastic, and long overdue. And we can’t help but remember how savagely Wall Street and their political allies in Congress fought the creation of this agency, the appointment of its originator Elizabeth Warren as its director, and then again the appointment of Richard Cordray. Now we know why – Cordray is arming consumers with the ability to fend off these long-accepted predatory practices.

The dirty secret about our economy right now is the enormous drag of foreclosures and the inability of homeowners to modify their loans. Sure, there was that much-trumpeted national foreclosure settlement, which resulted in $26 billion in assistance for struggling homeowners. But there were two big problems with that settlement: 1.) you can’t fix $700 billion in negative equity with $26 billion and 2.) in some states (like Wisconsin) anti-worker corporate-backed governors (like Scott Walker) took that money and used it to pay for tax breaks, so homeowners didn’t actually get any of it.

Needless to say, the so-called settlement did very little to alleviate the enormous economic pain felt by homeowners stuck in mortgages with no recourse, owing more to banks and servicers than they could possibly come up with, even if they sold their house.

Edward DeMarco, the acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), singlehandedly has the authority to reduce the principal on underwater mortgages. This would help families pay for mortgages that cost more than their house is worth. Two weeks ago, the Treasury Department offered to subsidize this process – but still no movement from DeMarco.

We’re very encouraged by what the CFPB is doing to protect future consumers, but we need to urge DeMarco to act – and help those who are struggling now. Sign our petition today.

Photo of Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray from aflcio on Flickr, via Creative Commons.

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“Justice Democrats” at Work: California Pushes Back Against Settlement with Banks

Photo by Casey Serin on Flickr, via Creative Commons

Despite the announcement at the State of the Union of a task force to investigate predatory lending and other sketchy bank practices, the settlement between the state Attorneys General and the five biggest banks is still on the table. Yes, we were successful in stalling the settlement, but that doesn’t discount the fact a deal is still being worked out, and that a draft has been submitted to the states AG’s for approval.

The deal calls for only $25 billion in assistance, which as we’ve said is a great deal of money until you compare it with U.S. homeowners $700 billion in negative equity. Despite the fanfare, that amount would only help a small percentage of affected homeowners – many Working America members among them.

We don’t think that’s enough. And now, we’re not alone:

Calif. Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris’ office has called a proposed $25-billion settlement with the nation’s mortgage industry “inadequate.”

“We’ve reviewed the details of the latest settlement proposal from the banks, and we believe it is inadequate for California,” Shum Preston, a spokesman for Harris, said in a statement. “Our state has been clear about what any multistate settlement must contain: transparency, relief going to the most distressed homeowners and meaningful enforcement that ensures accountability.  At this point, this deal does not suffice for California.”

Kamala Harris, along with Attorneys General Schneiderman (New York), Coakley (Massachusetts), Biden (Delaware), and Cortez Masto (Nevada), have been leading the charge against a weak settlement for months. Harris’ statement is a big deal because California, in addition to being a big state with a great deal of resources, has one of the highest foreclosure rates in the country. We agree with Harris – agreeing to this pittance of a settlement would be an abdication of her duties as California’s chief law enforcer.

If you want a great example of abdicating your duty as law enforcer, take a gander at Florida’s Republican Attorney General Pam Bondi. Bondi, a frequent Fox News guest and ally of the exceedingly unpopular Rick Scott, is also skeptical of a settlement, but not for the same reasons we are. She’s worried about the Big Banks being treated unfairly:

[With] a settlement taking shape last year, Bondi broke ranks with her counterparts and rejected it. That’s because the settlement would have mandated principal reduction—a measure that could help keep more homeowners out of foreclosure, but that would force banks and lenders to take a bigger hit on their balance sheets. “It seems like she’s balancing the interest of businesses with the interest of Floridians when it comes to principal reduction,” state Rep. Darren Soto (D-Orlando) told the Sentinel. “When you’re the AG, you have one interest: Floridians. You’re supposed to be the consumer advocate, first and foremost.”

When you follow the money, you can see one possible reason why Bondi is interested in a slap-on-the-wrist settlement: she’s received campaign contributions from executives and employees of ProVest and Lender Processing Services – two big foreclosure mills.

We’re cheering this move by Kamala Harris, as well as the efforts of her fellow “Justice Democrats” Eric Schneiderman, Martha Coakley, Beau Biden, and Catherine Cortez Masto. Our members have acutely felt the pains of mass foreclosures in their neighborhoods, communities, and families. These AG’s shouldn’t stop fighting until we get a full investigation of foreclosure fraud; something with a strong budget, adequate staff, and the authority to go after the people accountable for kicking millions of Americans out of their home.

As for Pam Bondi, whether her inaction on the foreclosure crisis really is the result of her campaign contributions or mere negligence, it’s just a reminder of why people are so cynical. Owning a home used to be part of the American promise – this is an area where government needs to help, regardless of party.

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AFL-CIO President Trumka’s Statement on Proposed Foreclosure Fraud Settlement

Photo by scad_lo on Flickr, via Creative Commons.

The following is a statement from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on the Possible Bank Mortgage and Foreclosure Fraud Settlement.

We need to hold banks accountable for the fraudulent practices that brought about the worst economic crisis since the Depression.  State Attorneys General have been investigating bank fraud, and these critical investigations must not be undermined by a premature and inadequate settlement.  We call on the administration to reject any deal that insulates banks from full responsibility.

It is critical that the Department of Justice lead a comprehensive investigation together with the state Attorneys General to prevent banks from engaging in future unlawful and deceptive practices that could exploit homeowners and put the economy further at risk.

We commend state Attorneys General like New York’s Eric Schneiderman and Delaware’s Beau Biden for their leadership and courage in calling for a real investigation and relief on a scale that helps the millions of homeowners who face a new wave of foreclosures.

The economy is currently weighed down by $750 billion in negative home equity, so relief on a massive scale is needed to lift home values and stimulate the economy by increasing consumer demand. A comprehensive settlement must force banks to write down underwater mortgages. A sum significantly larger than the rumored $25 billion is needed for the economy to grow and create jobs.

Specifically, the administration must stand strong against the big banks and insist on:

1) A full and thorough investigation into problems tied to the residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) market, and

2) A guaranteed minimum amount of money set aside for reducing the mortgage principal of “underwater” homeowners in key states impacted by the foreclosure crisis.

This is an opportunity for the administration to demonstrate leadership and show that it has the political will to do what’s right for homeowners and right for our economy.

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Obama Administration and Banks Close to Unacceptable Foreclosure Settlement – Take Action

You’ve got to be kidding me.

The Obama Administration, led by Associate Attorney General Thomas Perrelli, is in final negotiations with state Attorneys General to give the tiniest slap on the wrist to the five biggest banks for years and years of reckless foreclosure fraud activities.

There was talk over the past few months about a $25 billion settlement, which would help less than 10 percent of underwater homeowners. Now today we’re hearing about an even smaller settlement, valued at around $19 billion.

Of course these are huge numbers in theory, but we’re talking about the combined financial power of Bank of America, Citigroup, J.P. Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Ally Financial. It’s not even a slap on the wrist – this is like a tap on the shoulder, or a Facebook poke.

Dave Dayen at Firedoglake points out that there is $750 billion in negative equity in America, and a $19 billion settlement will deal with about 2.5 percent of that. And helping a million homeowners is great, but there are about 11 million homes in foreclosure and another 7.5 million homes on the precipice.

Not to mention that, according to reports, the proposed settlement with the banks would keep the participating states from “pursuing various claims against them in the future.” Translation: Banks don’t want anyone to really investigate the acts they committed against the American homeowners and communities. So-called “robo-signing,” the practice of assigning one person to approve thousands of foreclosures over a short period of time without checking the paperwork, is the focus of the settlements, but could be the tip of the iceberg if the Administration launched a full-scale investigation.

This could be the last chance we have to really find out what caused the housing bubble and the economic crisis that followed. This could be the last chance to hold the real financial criminals accountable. This could be the last chance to show the foreclosure fraudsters that they can’t negotiate their way out of the consequences of ruining millions of American lives and livelihoods – they’ll go to jail for robbing us the way anyone else would go to jail for robbing a home or a store.

Luckily, Thomas Perrelli, the man at the Justice Department overseeing the settlement with the banks, is leaving the post in March. Reports say he wants to get the settlement deal before he leaves.

He needs to hear from you now. He needs to know you think this tiny slap on the wrist for years of fraud is unacceptable. And he needs to know you won’t stay quiet about it.

Write to Thomas Perrelli now. Tell him to stand up for homeowners, not the Big Banks. Tell him that Bank of America and their friends might be rich and powerful, but they aren’t above the law.

Take action now.


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#J17 – A Big Tuesday for People Power

The big story of 2011 was the discovery of strength in numbers. From Egypt to Ohio, we woke up to a world where mass protest and mass action could be a change agent against entrenched, powerful interests.

January 17 is the first test of 2012 to see what people power can do in this new year. Here are three spots to watch:

The Walker Recall. We don’t yet know the final number of how many Wisconsinites signed petitions to trigger recall elections against Governor Walker and Lt. Governor Kleefisch. But the organizers are doing a great job playing the expectations game and teasing us with small details.

For instance, we have heard reports that Washington County, reportedly the “reddest” county in Wisconsin, turned in over 8,000 signatures to recall the Governor. We know that the effort to recall Walker’s closest legislative ally exceeded expectations in the similarly conservative 13th Senate District. We know that the effort overall has been successful in small cities and rural areas of the state, in addition to the bigger cities where last year’s uprising was strongest.

Here’s something else we know: the petitions that will be turned in later today to the state elections board weigh 3,000 pounds.

Recall organizers are holding a press conference at 3pm Central, and we’ll provide updates as they come along.

Occupy Congress. Members of the 112th Congress, sporting the lowest approval ratings in a generation, return to what they call “work” on Capitol Hill today. Joining them will be men and women representing the Occupy Wall Street movement, using this opportunity to call for jobs, an end to corruption, Internet freedom, and the abolition of corporate personhood.

As I type, Occupiers are gathering at the Capitol Building in DC. Some will seek meetings with representatives; others will hold teach-ins on various topics throughout the city. Already, there’s been news of the protesters overcoming obstacles to get to DC, like a Greyhound bus driver who stranded a group of 13 travelers in Amarillo, Texas.

To watch events unfold live, the folks at Occupy Congress have compiled multiple livestream feeds here at j17live.org.

An End to Foreclosure Fraud, Or Just the Beginning? Over 21,000 people have signed messages to their state Attorneys General opposing a slap-on-the-wrist settlement that would let banks off the hook for illegal foreclosure activities like robo-signing.

Thanks to you, it seems like the AG’s are feeling the pressure. Last week, AG’s or their office representatives from 14 states met in Washington, DC to discuss alternatives to the current settlement deal.

“This past Tuesday, a group of like-minded Attorneys General met in D.C. to discuss ongoing and future investigations into the mortgage finance and foreclosure industries,” said Delaware Deputy Attorney General Ian McConnel.

“The talks weren’t just about investigations,” said a source with knowledge of the discussions. “They were also about the attorneys general offices feeling uninvolved in a process by which their federal colleagues have been negotiating on their behalf.”

Please note: This group was bipartisan – just as the group of AG’s pushing the weak settlement deal is bipartisan. Calling for a full investigation into illegal practices – reportedly widespread throughout one of the nation’s most profitable industries – is not a partisan issue. If the banks aren’t held accountable this time, what incentive do they have to stop throwing families out of their homes under false pretenses?

No matter where your AG is on this issue, please make your voice heard – sign our petition here.

Photo by Matt Baran on Flickr, via Creative Commons.

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