12-03-2022  2:34 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Tough Oregon Gun Law Faces Legal Challenge, Could Be Delayed

Midterm voters narrowly passed one of the toughest gun control laws in the nation, but the new permit-to-purchase mandate and ban on high-capacity magazines faces a lawsuit that could put it on ice just days before it's set to take effect.

Portland Approves $27M for New Homeless Camps

Public opposition to the measure and the money that will fund it has been heated, with critics saying it will criminalize homelessness and fail to address its root causes.

Portland Settles Lawsuit Over Police Use of Tear Gas

The lawsuit was originally filed by Don't Shoot Portland in June 2020. “Our freedom of expression is the foundation of how we make social change possible,” Teressa Raiford said in a news release. “Black Lives Still Matter.”

Oregon Lawmakers Lift Security Measure Imposed on Senator

Since July 2019, Sen. Brian Boquist had been required to give 12 hours notice before coming to the Oregon State Capitol, to give the state police time to bolster their security and to ensure the safety of people in the Capitol.

NEWS BRIEFS

PBS Genealogy Show Seeks Viewers’ Brick Walls

The popular PBS show “Finding Your Roots” is putting out a nationwide casting call for a non-celebrity to be featured on season...

The James Museum Opens Black Pioneers: Legacy In The American West

This first-of-its-kind-exhibition explores Black history in the West with a timeline of pictorial quilts. ...

Use of Deadly Force Investigation Involving Clackamas County Sheriff and Oregon State Police Concludes

The grand jury’s role was solely to determine whether the involved officers’ conduct warranted criminal charges; questions...

Scientists call for action to help sunflower sea stars

ASTORIA, Ore. (AP) — Scientists along the West Coast are calling for action to help sunflower sea stars, among the largest sea stars in the world, recover from catastrophic population declines. Experts say a sea star wasting disease epidemic that began in 2013 has decimated about...

To address wealth gap, Wash. to consider K ‘baby bonds’

SEATTLE (AP) — Jennifer Bereskin dropped out of high school when she was 17. Her family was homeless, and she needed to get a job to buy food and afford bus fare. Couch surfing with friends in Everett, Lynnwood and Seattle, her dreams of college were put aside. “I was merely...

Missouri holds off Arkansas 29-27 to reach bowl eligibility

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri and Arkansas will be headed to similar bowl games after the Tigers held off the Razorbacks 29-27 on Saturday night, leaving each of the bitter border rivals 6-6 on the season. Only one walked out of Faurot Field with victory cigars. Brady...

Rivalry week should bring SEC bowl forecast into clear focus

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — It’s rivalry week for most of the Southeastern Conference. The Egg Bowl. The Iron Bowl. The Palmetto Bowl. The Sunshine Showdown. Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate. The Battle Line Rivalry. It’s a chance for everyone to either avoid or add to the powerhouse...

OPINION

‘I Unreservedly Apologize’

The Oregonian commissioned a study of its history of racism, and published the report on Oct. 24, 2022. The Skanner is pleased to republish the apology written by the editor, Therese Bottomly. We hope other institutions will follow this example of looking...

City Officials Should Take Listening Lessons

Sisters of the Road share personal reflections of their staff after a town hall meeting at which people with lived experience of homelessness spoke ...

When Student Loan Repayments Resume, Will Problems Return Too?

HBCU borrowers question little loan forgiveness, delays to financial security ...

Tell the Supreme Court: We Still Need Affirmative Action

Opponents of affirmative action have been trying to destroy it for years. And now it looks like they just might get their chance. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Antisemitic celebrities stoke fears of normalizing hate

A surge of anti-Jewish vitriol, spread by a world-famous rapper, an NBA star and other prominent people, is stoking fears that public figures are normalizing hate and ramping up the risk of violence in a country already experiencing a sharp increase in antisemitism. Leaders of the...

Both sides see high stakes in gay rights Supreme Court case

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is being warned about the potentially dire consequences of a case next week involving a Christian graphic artist who objects to designing wedding websites for same-sex couples. Rule for the designer and the justices will expose not only same-sex...

GOP's Duarte takes California Central Valley US House seat

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Republican John Duarte defeated Democrat Adam Gray on Friday in a new California U.S. House district in the Central Valley farm belt that produced the closest congressional contest in the state this year. With virtually all of the ballots counted, Duarte has just...

ENTERTAINMENT

Prince William, like his father, prioritizes the environment

BOSTON (AP) — Prince William capped a three-day visit to Boston by meeting with President Joe Biden to share his vision for safeguarding the environment before attending a gala event Friday evening where he sounded an optimistic tone about solving the world’s environmental problems through...

LGBTQ chorus in Colorado Springs unifies community with song

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Below the vaulted dome and dark wood beams of a church in Colorado Springs, a gay men's choir rehearsed for a concert that's taken on new meaning after an LGBTQ night club became the site of a shooting that killed five and wounded 17. “There is no...

Britney Spears' massive pop songs to land on Broadway, again

NEW YORK (AP) — A stage musical about woke princesses that uses hit songs by Britney Spears will land on Broadway this summer. "Once Upon a One More Time," featuring Spears' tunes, including “Oops!… I Did It Again,” “Lucky,” “Stronger” and “Toxic,” will start...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Polynesian pride: Three-day canoe voyage in mid-Pacific

RAPA NUI, Chile (AP) — The causes are worthy, the course is daunting – almost 500 kilometers (about 300 miles)...

Defeated election conspiracists seek to lead Michigan GOP

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Republicans who lost their races for Michigan's top three statewide offices after...

Messi scores again, Argentina into World Cup quarterfinals

AL RAYYAN, Qatar (AP) — Lionel Messi was pushed into the middle of a joyous post-match huddle as Argentina’s...

AP PHOTOS: Residents face new reality in retaken Kherson

KHERSON, Ukraine (AP) — When Ukraine wrested back Kherson from Russian occupiers nearly a month ago, it was a...

Russia rejects -a-barrel cap on its oil, warns of cutoffs

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian authorities rejected a price cap on the country's oil set by Ukraine’s Western...

Thousands protest in South Korea in support of truckers

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Thousands of demonstrators representing organized labor marched in South Korea’s...

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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