CRC Comments on New Report from Monitor of Attorney General Mortgage Settlement

June 19, 2013–Today, in response to the release of a new report from the Monitor of the national mortgage settlement, California Reinvestment Coalition’s Associate Director Kevin Stein released this statement:

“The National Mortgage Settlement provides consumer relief and strong protections for homeowners struggling to keep their homes, however, today’s report confirms that homeowners continue to hit roadblocks when they ask for help from their banks. Joseph A. Smith, Jr., Monitor of the National Mortgage Settlement, found that banks failed on 8 metrics that measure how timely and responsive they are to their customers. These findings of noncompliance are new and important. Banks are also required to report on the number of complaints that were forwarded to their executive offices, and in this report, there were almost 60,000 complaints in a six-month period.

Yet there remains a large gap between this report’s findings of 8 failed metrics and consumer complaints, and the widespread evidence of noncompliance reported in our survey earlier this year of over 80 housing counselors and legal aid attorneys, who report ongoing issues with dual tracking, single points of contact, and concerns about whether or not the most vulnerable homeowners are receiving equal access to the benefits and protections of this settlement.

While we are encouraged that the monitor reportedly is discussing with the banks their obligations not to discriminate against borrowers of color and other protected classes of borrowers (and that he will report on these requirements), we remain deeply concerned that the lack of demographic data on people receiving (and not receiving) assistance makes it impossible to know if the relief is reaching limited English speakers, widows,borrowers with disabilities, and the communities that were hit hardest by the mortgage meltdown.

We hope this report represents just a first step by the monitor’s office in a growing effort to uncover and remedy the broad scale noncompliance, violations and intransigence of banks that are not helping families and communities as they should.”