07-17-2019  11:41 am   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Portland Grocery Launches an Innovative Solution for Dog-Owning Customers

Customers can use the app-connected houses as a safer and smarter solution when shopping with their dogs, rather than leaving them in the car or tied up on the street.

Oregon State Workers Could Get up to 15% Raises

Public employee unions representing Oregon state workers have negotiated new contracts that would provide pay increases of up to 15% over the next two-year budget period.

Oregon Fossil of Bone-Crushing Mammal a First in the US Northwest

A fossil jaw bone misidentified for 50 years turns out to belong to a bone-crushing mammal and is the first to be found in the Northwest, scientists said.

Tobacco in Oregon: Cheap, Sweet, Plentiful and Sold at Kids’ Eye Level

New report shines light on tobacco industry marketing across Oregon

NEWS BRIEFS

Living Room Realty Announces Scholarship Opportunity

The scholarship will help facilitate a path toward a real estate career for underrepresented communities ...

U.S. Bank Invests $1 Million with the National Museum of African American History and Culture

“Through this support of the National Museum, we hope these historical stories and rich cultural experiences will continue to...

Police Evacuate City Hall, Close Terry Schrunk Plaza

City Hall closed due to suspicious package ...

Oregon Settles with Health Insurer Premera Over Data Breach

Oregon to receive jumi.3 million from settlement ...

Michael Lewellen Appointed New Vice President for Marketing and Communications at University of Portland

Former Portland Trail Blazers executive steps into new role July 15 ...

Earthquake recorded off Oregon coast

BANDON, Ore. (AP) — A magnitude 5.3-magnitude earthquake was recorded about 150 miles off the Oregon coast.The U.S. Geological Survey says the quake at 8 a.m. Wednesday was about 152 miles west-northwest of Bandon. It had a depth of more than 8.5 miles.Authorities say the temblor was likely...

Editorials from around Oregon

Selected editorials from Oregon newspapers:___Mail Tribune, July 14, on the state Legislature's failure to deliver fire aid:The 2019 legislative session will be remembered more for what it didn't accomplish than for what it did, thanks in large measure to the two walkouts staged by Senate...

Missouri DE Williams pleads to misdemeanor, put on probation

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri defensive end Tre Williams pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and was sentenced to two years of unsupervised probation after prosecutors dropped a felony domestic assault charge.The Columbia Daily Tribune reports Williams pleaded guilty to peace disturbance and was...

Florida's Mullen hoping for sizable leap in 2nd season

HOOVER, Ala. (AP) — Dan Mullen made a big leap in his second season at Mississippi State, but his Florida team doesn't have quite so much room to grow.Unless, of course, the Gators can jump to national contender status. That's what another four-win improvement would mean.The Bulldogs won...

OPINION

Hearing on H.R. 40 Puts Reparations Debate in National Spotlight

“These are the vestiges of enslavement that people don't want to deal with,” said Dr. Julianne Malveaux, the former President of Bennett College. ...

Perfecting the Cat Nap: Lessons on Sleep From a Cat

Watching Soleil's languorous lifestyle has inspired me to establish better sleeping habits which have led to increased happiness and productivity. ...

Happy Independence Day!

The Skanner would like to wish all of our readers a relaxing and safe 4th of July. Wondering about the history and science of fireworks? ...

Plastics Are Strangling the Planet

You have probably heard about islands of plastic (and other garbage) inhabiting our oceans. The impact of this is the dying off of entire segments of oceans. In addition, many countries in the global North, including but not limited to the USA, look at the...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Prosecutors seek prison terms for Virginia rally attackers

Hatred for Jews, blacks and feminists motivated three members of a white supremacist group to attack counterprotesters at a rally for far-right extremists in Virginia, federal prosecutors argue in seeking stricter sentences for the men this week.Justice Department prosecutors recommend prison...

Trump vs. Dems: 'Racist,' socialist' lines drawn for 2020

WASHINGTON (AP) — With tweets and a vote, President Donald Trump and House Democrats established the sharp and emotionally raw contours of the 2020 election campaigns.In the process, they have created a fraught political frame: "racists" vs. "socialists."Trump's aggressive condemnation of...

Eric Garner's mother speaks out on anniversary of his death

NEW YORK (AP) — Eric Garner's mother urged the New York City police commissioner to fire the officer accused of using a chokehold in the death of her son, as she marked the five-year anniversary of her loss Wednesday.Gwen Carr spoke the day after the U.S. Department of Justice announced that...

ENTERTAINMENT

Judge orders R. Kelly held in jail without bond in sex case

CHICAGO (AP) — A federal judge on Tuesday ordered R. Kelly held in jail without bond after a prosecutor warned that the singer accused of having sex with minors and trying to cover up the crimes would pose an extreme danger to young girls if set free."If he was attracted to middle school...

25 years later, 'The Lion King' roars again (with Beyoncé)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — It was just a few months ago that director Jon Favreau was sitting in a scoring session with composer Hans Zimmer for "The Lion King," his ambitious and technology-driven reimagining of the 1994 animated classic, and he and everyone else in the room were getting a little...

'The Chain' is a mid-life hit for novelist Adrian McKinty

NEW YORK (AP) — With his novel "The Chain" headed for publishing best-seller lists and summer packing lists, Adrian McKinty can now laugh as he remembers an old and "failed" novel."I was in Mexico City, trying to write about Trotsky, the assassination of Trotsky, and it wasn't going well,"...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

John Paul Stevens emerged as Supreme Court's leading liberal

WASHINGTON (AP) — John Paul Stevens moved left as the Supreme Court shifted to the right during his nearly...

Federal data shows opioid shipments ballooned as crisis grew

CLEVELAND (AP) — Newly released federal data shows how drugmakers and distributors increased shipments of...

Top diplomat: Iran must build missiles for defense

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's foreign minister said Wednesday that his country has no choice but to...

Architect: Notre Dame far from safe for restoration work

PARIS (AP) — A French architect says that Notre Dame Cathedral still isn't safe enough for restoration work...

Italy, FBI crack down on Mafia clan with Gambino ties

ROME (AP) — Italian police and FBI agents have cracked down on a Palermo-area Mafia clan with ties to the...

Gunmen in restaurant in northern Iraq kill Turkish diplomat

IRBIL, Iraq (AP) — Unknown gunmen opened fire inside a Turkish-owned restaurant in the northern Iraqi city...

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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