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Hundreds of NCRC members expected to comment and testify before bank regulators this summer Atlanta, GA – Today, eight members of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition testified before the bank regulatory agencies regarding ways to improve the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) to leverage hundreds of billions of dollars more in private investments for job creation …
Regulators Must Fulfill Spirit and Intent of Bill
Washington, DC – Today, John Taylor, president and CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC), will join President Obama for the signing ceremony of the financial reform bill. Taylor made this statement prior to the ceremony:
“Today’s signing of the financial reform legislation by President Obama marks the beginning of a renewed effort by the White House, Congress, regulators and by community and consumer groups like NCRC to hold Wall Street and the banks accountable to taxpayers, who bailed them out after a decade of reckless and greedy financial practices, designed solely to line their pockets. These practices led to an economic crisis unlike anything we have experienced as Americans since the Great Depression.”
Tepid Foreclosure Prevention Efforts Continue to Undermine Economic Recovery Permanent modifications disappoint, as cancellations trend substantially higher Washington DC- Today the Treasury Department and HUD released the latest numbers for the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). Nearly 400,000 homeowners have been granted a permanent modification under the program, which compares to over 5.3 million foreclosure …
Washington, DC – The Senate has passed the Wall Street reform bill this afternoon. John Taylor, president & CEO of NCRC made this statement regarding it passage:
“This bill represents the most significant overhaul of the financial system since the 1930s. But serious work remains; the proof of the bill’s worth will come not from what is written in the bill, but how the regulators interpret the bill, write the rules and then enforce them. Based on the job they did for the past decade, I will believe reform is here when I see it. The bill leaves too much to study, and the discretion of the existing regulators. For that reason, it’s a boon to Wall Street lobbyists, who will now be working behind the scenes to influence the regulators,” said John Taylor, president & CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition. “Given the severity of the economic crisis resulting from reckless and greedy practices on Wall Street, the bill could have been justifiably stronger. This is what happens when you allow the very industry that caused the problem to buy all the front row seats at the bargaining table.”
“We’re pleased to see the creation of an independent Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, whose sole purpose is to create and enforce rules that will protect consumers from faulty financial products like risky mortgages and high interest credit cards. But the consumer protections in the bill are not as bullet-proof as we would want. The same regulators who ignored consumer advocates’ warnings about predatory lending have veto power over the consumer agency; That club of regulators is very insular, and usually in agreement. They can kill serious reform, and the financial lobby remains much more influential with regulators than consumer advocates. And the veto standard of safety and soundness is too broad to the point of potentially including measures that affect the profitability of financial firms, even profits off of very risky practices. It’s critical that this agency get a strong director whose professional devotion is to protecting consumers, and that it remains independent from the regulators,” said Taylor.
“We’re also pleased that Congress accepted our recommendations on additional data enhancements covering home mortgage lending, including foreclosure data, and small business lending. These data enhancements will shine a powerful spotlight on banks efforts to lend for small business expansion and job creation and sustainable homeownership,” said Taylor.”
Wall Street Reform Bill Passes the House
Washington, DC – Reacting to news that the House has passed the Wall Street reform bill this evening, John Taylor, president & CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC), made this statement regarding its passage:
“NCRC is very pleased to see some major steps taken to overhaul the banking system. The bill offers necessary consumer protections that would not have been passed without President Obama’s leadership. The Senate needs to act quickly to send this legislation to the President’s desk. While it’s been distressing to see the outsize influence that the Wall Street banks have on Congress, it’s time now to get this done, and to move forward with other necessary measures to clean up the mess caused by the reckless and irresponsible behavior of Wall Street.”
“The creation of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) as an independent agency that will be able to create and enforce rules of the road will protect consumers from future abuses. It is critical however that this independence not be undermined by the fact that the Federal Reserve Bank will house, pay for and be part of the oversight agency that has the authority to veto decisions of the CFPB. Only time will tell as to how much influence the banking regulators and others have over this new important agency. We will be paying close attention to the implementation of the agency, to ensure it is set up in a way that maximizes its ability to protect consumers.”
Washington, DC- Early this morning, the Conference Committee passed the Financial Regulatory Reform Bill. John Taylor, NCRC’s president and CEO, made this statement regarding its passing:
“NCRC is very pleased to see some major steps being taken to overhaul the banking system. The bill offers major consumer protections that did not exist prior to President Obama’s and Barney Frank’s call for reform. The creation of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) as a independent agency should be able to create rules and regulations and protect consumers from future abuses. It is critical however that this independence not be undermined by the fact that the Federal Reserve Bank will house, pay for and be part of the oversight agency that has the authority to veto decisions of the CFPB. Only time will tell as to how much influence the banking regulators and others have over this new important agency.”
Major components of the bill include:
- A strong consumer agency was created to protect consumers and enforce regulations on mortgages, credit cards and other financial products.
- Independent Funding.
- Director appointed by the President and Confirmed by the Senate.
- Enforcement of pay day lenders, and check cashiers.
Help for Homeowners:
- Assistance to unemployed borrowers facing foreclosure.
- Money provided for the neighborhood stabilization fund which helps with assistance to borrowers for foreclosed or abandoned properties.
- Funds provided for counseling (Legal Aid).
NCRC Urges Committee Withstand Pressure to Remove Independent Appraisals, Sounds Concern on Rating Agencies’ Conflict of Interest But Praises Senate Vote on Homeowner Advocate in HAMP Program
Washington, DC (June 16, 2010) — Today John Taylor, CEO and President of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, urged the conference committee to withstand pressure to remove independent appraisal requirements on mortgages in the financial reform bill and expressed disappointment with its failure to resolve the troubling conflict of interest between credit rating agencies and Wall Street. Taylor also urged inclusion of an Office of the Homeowner Advocate in HAMP to conduct loan modification appeals brought by homeowners and serve as a policy voice for homeowners.
Taylor said: “Financial reform cannot happen with removing the existing monetary incentives we have allowed the financial industry to build into financial products, including mortgages and the services rating agencies provide. We took a step backward yesterday by refusing to deal with the rating agencies’ conflict of interest. We cannot afford to take another step backwards by caving to pressure from the brokers and Realtors to remove independent appraisals on mortgages. Inflated valuations on homes helped blow the housing bubble bigger and bigger until it burst. To prevent another crisis, we need to remove the financial incentives to do more harm than good.”
Senate bill weaker on consumer protections than House bill will need to get strengthened in conference committee
Washington, DC– Today, the United States Senate passed a financial reform bill . A last minute managers amendment from Senator Dodd has not been made public yet, but based on the details of the bill known earlier today, John Taylor, president and CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC), made the following statement:
The Senate has today passed a promising financial reform bill: necessary financial reforms will become law. But this legislative victory came at a great cost. More than 8 million Americans lost their livelihood, and millions are losing their homes. Families and whole neighborhoods have been torn apart. Unfortunately, this is more than lost decade for many Americans; this has been the destruction of the American Dream.
Voluntary nature, rising unemployment and underwater homeowners impede progress of foreclosure prevention program
Washington, DC -Today, the Treasury Department released figures for the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) through April of this year. The numbers show that roughly 300,000 borrowers have received a permanent modification under the program. Meanwhile, foreclosure filings continue at a rate above 300,000 for the 14th straight month, according to Realty Trac .
"The latest HAMP numbers continue to be underwhelming. While it’s clear that some progress has made, it’s been incremental at best. The program is positioned to help a very modest percentage of borrowers weather the storm, but not to end the foreclosure crisis. At these levels of prevention, the foreclosures will continue to gnaw away at the economy," said John Taylor, president and CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC).
Wall Street Pulling Out All the Stops to Maintain Veil of Secrecy and Avoid Accountability Brought by Financial Reform Bill
Senate bill needs to get stronger to protect consumers
Washington, DC — As the Wall Street reform debate opens in the Senate, the financial services lobby is pulling out all the stops to weaken or even kill the financial reform bill. On a mission to fight off oversight and accountability, Wall Street banks have already poured in millions of dollars, deployed over a thousand lobbyists, including former members of congress, all in efforts to fight off the bill and guard their lofty profits. The National Community Reinvestment Coalition urged the Senate today to fight on behalf of the American people for strong reform that ensures that the financial system is fair, transparent, and accountable.
Study of DC area loans reveals racial component to lending and foreclosure unexplained by objective underwriting criteria.
Washington, DC – As financial reform works its way through the Senate, a new study by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) indicates that subprime lending and subsequent resulting foreclosures were led by the private market and contained a clear racial component not explained by objective underwriting criteria. African American and Latino borrowers were more likely to receive a subprime loan, and to go into foreclosure, than similarly situated white homeowners, controlling for credit risk and other borrower, neighborhood and loan characteristics. The Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) appeared to have a moderating effect on risky and abusive lending practices; privately securitized loans went into foreclosure twice as often as loans backed by the GSEs.
Washington, DC — In reaction to the news that Bank of America would launch a principal reduction program, John Taylor, president and CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, today made this statement: “Bank of America is to be commended for launching a program to reduce principal balances on loans that are underwater. Principal reduction …
Washington, DC – Today the Obama Administration will announce changes to the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) and to FHA. John Taylor, president & CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition made the following statement:
“The Administration has once again shown their willingness to go back to the drawing board to address programmatic challenges. The enhancements announced today will be helpful to unemployed borrowers and some homeowners who find themselves underwater.”
“But I’m not optimistic that the incentives will be enough to entice servicers and investors to reduce loan principals. Will they help seven million people who are at risk of foreclosure? I will be pleasantly shocked if investors step up for half a million borrowers. The real acceleration in the number of foreclosures prevented will come with mandatory principal writedowns.”