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Press Releases

For interviews and other media requests, contact: media@ncrc.org

Federal Housing Probe On Target But Should Examine Loan Modifications

Washington, DC —  John Taylor, president & CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, issued this statement today in response to the Administration’s probe of mortgage servicers: “It was heartening to hear that the Obama Administration is investigating whether servicers are doing all they can to help homeowners avoid foreclosures, but their probe must include the abusive lending practices that led to the financial chaos that shattered our economy. The Administration should move quickly on the question of whether banks are doing what they must do and should do under housing laws to help borrowers because stemming foreclosures is key to ending the economic downturn. Foreclosures are the bane of our economic recovery, and we fail to see how a temporary national freeze will hurt the economy more than the foreclosures do. Nobody wants to freeze foreclosures on abandoned homes. And a foreclosure freeze gives us all the chance to counsel homeowners, work with lenders and servicers to fix the servicing pipeline, and keep responsible homeowners in their homes.

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NCRC Supports Temporary National Moratorium on Foreclosures

Rubber stamp foreclosures continue pattern of disrespect for consumers’ rights and legal process, creating moral hazard for financial services industry

Washington, DC – In a letter to President Obama on Friday, the National Community Reinvestment Coalition joined dozens of other consumer and civil rights groups in a call for a temporary national moratorium on foreclosures, until an investigation can be completed to determine the extent to which consumers’ rights have been violated by servicers and lenders. NCRC also called on Congress and the Administration to pursue non-voluntary measures to resolve the foreclosure crisis.

“The rights of consumers have been treated as an afterthought by the financial industry,” said John Taylor, president & CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition. “Allowing the industry to rubber stamp foreclosures, and continue with sloppy, extralegal practices promotes a ‘moral hazard’ that encourages abusive behavior. Not intervening to investigate and ensure that consumers are adequately protected in the foreclosure process sends a message that mortgage lending and servicing continues to be the Wild West, wherein the industry is free to do what they want, without consideration for the borrower.”

“We need to end the voluntary reliance on the industry to do the right thing with respect to homeowners. Three years of following this approach on the foreclosure crisis has largely failed. Congress and the Administration should take this opportunity to finally put in place something that puts an end to unnecessary foreclosures, rather than delaying them,” said Taylor.

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Bill To Expand CRA to Wall Street Introduced

Washington, DC – With the strong backing of House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank, legislation to expand the lending requirements of the Community Barney Frank pic Reinvestment Act (CRA) to Wall Street was introduced yesterday. Such an expansion has the potential to spur significant job creation by leveraging hundreds of billions of dollars in private investments in small businesses and communities, without spending tax dollars, said John Taylor, CEO and President of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, which worked closely with Frank in writing the bill. A section-by-section analysis of the bill is available at www.ncrc.org.

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Improving HMDA Data can be the Answer to Averting another Foreclosure Epidemic

delinquent bill picWashington, DC–On Friday, September 24th, NCRC will testify before Federal Reserve Board on making critical improvements to HMDA data, so that lenders can be held accountable for the types of loans they are issuing to communities.

“We are in an era of some of the most complicated mortgage products to-date and given the strain that bad mortgage loans have put on our economy, lenders should be examined with a microscope now more than ever. In the era of reckless and corrupt lending, it is crucial that HMDA actually does what it was enacted to do, which is identify discriminatory lending patterns and determine if financial institutions are meeting local housing needs,” said John Taylor, president and CEO of NCRC, in reaction to the Federal Reserve’s 2009 HMDA data report.

The recently enacted Dodd-Frank bill mandates significant improvements to HMDA data. NCRC calls upon the Federal Reserve Board and the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to expeditiously implement these improvements. In today’s release, the Federal Reserve Board states that the current HMDA data lacks information on credit scores, property values, and other factors necessary to fully account for disparities in racial access to affordable loans.

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NCRC Urges Obama Administration To Mandate Loan Principal Reductions

NCRC Urges Obama Administration To Mandate Loan Principal Reductions By Lenders & Ignore Calls For A “Do Nothing” Approach On Housing Washington, DC — National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) president & CEO John Taylor today urged the Obama Administration to ignore calls by some housing experts to “do nothing” on housing recovery. Instead, Taylor said

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Top Press Mentions

NCRC frequently provides expert commentary on national television, including ABC’s Nightline, Bloomberg, the CBS Evening News, CNBC, CNN, CSPAN, NBC’s Dateline and Fox News. NCRC research and policy papers have been cited in hundreds of newspapers in the US including in the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, the Chicago

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Community Organizations Weigh in on the Community Reinvestment Act

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

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John Taylor joins President Obama for Signing of Wall Street Reform Bill

John Taylor and Pres Obama

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.”

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Tepid Foreclosure Prevention Efforts

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

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NCRC on Senate passage of the Wall Street Reform Bill

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.”

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Wall Street Reform Passes the House

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.”

 

Wall Street Reform Passes the House Read More »

Financial Regulatory Reform Passed by Conference Committee

US Capitol

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:

Consumer Agency:

  • 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).

 

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Financial Reform Cannot Happen Without Removing Monetary Incentives

CONFERENCE WATCH:

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.”

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Wall Street Reform Passes Senate

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.

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Foreclosure Prevention Gains Little Ground

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).

 

 

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