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Congresswoman Maxine Waters

Representing the 43rd District of California

Congresswoman Waters Responds to Proposed Settlement Between Attorneys General, Servicers

March 8, 2011
Press Release

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), a senior member of the Financial Services Committee, issued the following statement today after details of the proposed settlement between state attorneys general and mortgage servicers were revealed:

"Though some questions about the details of this settlement remain unanswered, I am encouraged by the proposed deal between 50 state attorneys general and mortgage servicers. Many of the provisions included are just plain common sense and would bring transparency and fairness to mortgage servicing, thereby benefitting both homeowners and investors in mortgage-backed securities.  Much of what is in the proposal is consistent with what I've been advocating for years.

"However, we must remember that much of what is contained in the settlement is a restatement of current law.  The fact that the state attorneys general need to remind servicers that they must comply with the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, for example, is a testament to just how shameful the industry's practices have become. 

"I am also concerned that the settlement does not address the precise amount in monetary penalties the state attorneys general are seeking, or exactly how those penalties would translate into assistance for homeowners.  Moreover, many questions remain unanswered about how second lien modifications would work. 

"Perhaps most importantly, I think the public would also like to know the actual results of the state attorneys general investigation, as this information will inform whether or not the settlement is sufficient. How can we know if the settlement is fair if we don't know precisely what indemnification the servicers are receiving in exchange?

"Finally, I am concerned that this settlement is only as strong as the enforcement that stands behind it.  While the Republicans attempt to weaken and undermine the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, we must continue to protect the work and mission of the Bureau so that sustained, rigorous enforcement is possible."