09-15-2019  12:42 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Resignation of Oregon Public Records Advocate Stirs Doubts

Ginger McCall says Brown's general counsel pressured her to secretly advocate for governor's office

‘It’s OK to Struggle’

Two families break the silence on suicide and mental health

If You Need Help

Resources for those struggling with suicidal thoughts, or seeking support after a loss

New Cleveland High Principal Looks Ahead

Leo Lawyer replaces Ayesha Freeman, who resigned last year after a vote of no-confidence from staff

NEWS BRIEFS

Filmmaker Lynne Siefert Wins 2019 Betty Bowen Award

Anthony White and Andrea Joyce Heimer also recognized ...

Doctors Without Borders Brings Traveling Speaker Series to Portland, OR

MSF aid worker Karen Stewart will talk about her experiences working around the globe ...

Hampton University to Offer Free Enrollment, Room & Board to University of the Bahamas Students Displaced by Hurricane Dorian

Agreement with University of the Bahamas-North will allow displaced students to continue their education ...

Portland to pay ,000 to man wrongly arrested at protest

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The city of Portland plans to pay ,000 to a man who says he was wrongfully tackled and arrested by police in riot gear at an anti-Donald Trump protest in 2016.Daniel Martinez, of Forest Grove, said police mistook him for a suspect in a car vandalism that had occurred...

Oregon schools rolling out indigenous studies curriculum

ROSEBURG, Ore. (AP) — Inside a room at the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians' new tribal community center are three framed sketch drawings by a Native artist.K'Ehleyr McNulty, the tribe's youth development specialist, pointed to a drawing of a traditional Cow Creek home — a...

Missouri scores in all phases in 50-0 victory over SEMO

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — After a humbling performance in the season opener, Missouri's defense has taken out its frustration on two straight opponents, including a 50-0 shutout of Southeast Missouri on Saturday night.The Tigers (2-1) held the Redhawks (1-2) to 94 total yards."Our defense played...

Missouri aims for complete game as SEMO rolls into town

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Southeast Missouri State coach Tom Matukewicz probably cringed just a little bit when he watched film of Missouri's first-half destruction of rebuilding West Virginia last week.Then he probably cringed a little more when he watched the second half.The Tigers bounced back...

OPINION

Despite U.S. Open Loss, Serena Williams Is Still the Greatest of All Time

Serena Williams lost her bid for what would have been her sixth U.S. Open Singles title ...

Do Black Kids Deserve This Treatment in School?

Three White Pearland ISD employees are named in a federal lawsuit after humiliating a 13-year-old Black student by blackening his scalp with a Sharpie ...

Why I’m Visiting the Border

People of color are feeling less safe today and any day when we see the realities of domestic terrorism and racially-motivated acts of violence ...

Why Lady Liberty Weeps

The original concept was to have Lady Liberty holding a broken shackle and chain in her left hand, to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Fan banned from all NWSL games after investigation

A person who directed racist taunts at Portland Thorns' goalkeeper Adrianna Franch has been banned from attending National Women's Soccer League games.A fan at the Sept. 6 game between the Thorns and Utah Royals in Salt Lake City first called attention to the unidentified person on Twitter. The...

Malaysia's 2 top opposition Malay parties forge alliance

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Two major opposition parties in Malaysia forged a political alliance Saturday to consolidate support from the country's majority ethnic Malay Muslims, a move that could threaten Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's government in the next general election.Mahathir's...

Far from debate spotlight, Williamson keeps campaigning

ATLANTA (AP) — Marianne Williamson's voice dropped to a near whisper, then soared preacher-style to the rafters."There are more lovers than haters in America. But those who hate, hate with conviction, and conviction is a force multiplier," she said. "That is why we need a politics of love...

ENTERTAINMENT

Prize winning historian Jean Edward Smith dead at 86

NEW YORK (AP) — Jean Edward Smith, a prize-winning historian known for his books on Franklin Roosevelt and Ulysses Grant, has died. He was 86.Simon & Schuster confirmed his death Friday but did not immediately have further details.A longtime professor at the University of Toronto, Smith...

'I was stupid': Huffman gets 14 days in college scam

BOSTON (AP) — "Desperate Housewives" star Felicity Huffman was sentenced Friday to 14 days in prison for paying ,000 to rig her daughter's SAT scores, tearfully apologizing to the teenager for not trusting her to get into college on her own."I was frightened, I was stupid, and I was so...

Women's Hall of Fame inducts Sotomayor, Fonda, Allred

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, actress Jane Fonda and attorney Gloria Allred were among the inductees at the National Women's Hall of Fame on Saturday.The Class of 2019 inducted into the hall in upstate New York also included activist Angela Davis , attorney Sarah Deer, fashion...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Don't vote? The Trump campaign would like a word with you

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Ashley Arentz is a political unicorn.The 28-year-old Marine from Jacksonville,...

Over 2,000 fetal remains found at ex-abortion doctor's home

JOLIET, Ill. (AP) — More than 2,000 medically preserved fetal remains have been found at the Illinois home...

AP PHOTOS: Ex-army chief hoping to be Israel's next premier

ROSH HAAYIN, Israel (AP) — As former army chief of staff Benny Gantz campaigns to be Israel's next leader,...

Taliban visits Moscow days after Trump says talks 'dead'

MOSCOW (AP) — A negotiating team from the Taliban arrived Friday in Russia, a representative told The...

Berlin celebrates postwar visitor program for expelled Jews

BERLIN (AP) — Berlin was the last place Helga Melmed had expected to see again.She was 14 when the Nazis...

UAE says 6 troops killed in 'collision,' without elaborating

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Six Emirati troops have been killed in a "collision," the United Arab...

McMenamins
Charlene Crowell NNPA Columnist

Mike Calhoun, president of CRL



Fix or Evict, the Center for Responsible Lending's latest in a series of research reports on mortgage lending and foreclosures, reaches eye-opening conclusions in its ongoing scrutiny of America's still-unfolding foreclosure crisis.  It's no secret that banks and other loan servicers are harming struggling homeowners by pushing unnecessary foreclosure.  Now, this research shows that banks are also acting directly against the best interests of loan investors – the companies that own the loans including pension funds and life insurance companies. 

Most importantly, the report found that the lending industry's poor track record on loan modifications cannot be blamed on homeowners who re-default.

"It's well documented how mortgage servicers' unfair, shoddy practices have hurt homeowners," said Mike Calhoun, president of CRL.  "This research shows that servicers also routinely give the investment community a raw deal." 

At present, families facing eviction outnumber those with a modification by a 12-1 margin. Updated statistics show that residential mortgage foreclosures are on track to reach 13 million by the end of 2014 at a cost of nearly $1 trillion in direct losses to families, local governments, and financial institutions. When CRL factored in the lost value to homes in close proximity of foreclosures, $1.9 trillion in losses will be stripped away by 2012. 

From CRL's perspective, it is time for the banks to accept the consequences for the hundreds of billions of dollars in damages that have been inflicted on the nation.  It was the lack of accountability by banks that is so disturbing when the public bailed them out. Before any foreclosure is allowed to proceed, there needs to be full disclosure for homeowners and investors to ensure that every loan got a good look from the servicer. Further, the current loan servicing investigation by the nation's attorneys general must result in remedies to reform an industry that perpetuated the crisis. Let's not forget that this crisis began with foreclosures and spread to the rest of the economy.

Findings from Fix or Evict? also corroborate recent data from the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), which showed how four out of five households that received HAMP modifications are still current on their mortgages.  Unlike many short-term loan repairs that occur outside the HAMP program, HAMP loan modifications are most likely to involve reducing the homeowner's monthly payment – and this is the type of modification that is likely to be the most successful.

It is amid this growing body of objective analyses that some from the investment side are questioning the low number of modifications as well.

"The misalignment of economic interests between the owners of mortgages and those who service them is the single reason why the mortgage problem has become a crisis and a massive economic drain on this country", said Bill Frey, president of Greenwich Financial Services and a longtime investor advocate. 

"Servicers have been allowed to follow their own voluntary loan modification program", said CRL's Calhoun, "and the result has gone against the best interests of everyone but the servicers themselves.  We need mandatory reforms that ensure servicers follow the law and act in the best interests of their clients – that would end up benefiting everyone."  

Perhaps if investors with deep pockets could align themselves with the people whose pockets have been picked, we could have a real and sustainable recovery.  Sure, it would be an odd couple alignment. But, maybe after so many losses, it's the one that could make the true difference.

 

Charlene Crowell is the Center for Responsible Lending's communications manager for state policy and outreach.

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