02-28-2020  1:08 pm   •   PDX Weather    •   SEA weather  
Reparations Gaining Support The Skanner Reports
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NORTHWEST NEWS

PHOTOS: Elizabeth Warren Rallies in Seattle

Washington state’s primary is Tuesday, March 10; voters should have received their ballots by Thursday, Feb. 27

Support for Black Reparations Grows in Congress

The Commission to Study and Develop Reparations Proposals for African-Americans Act now has 125 cosponsors

Shifting Demographics Drive GOP Nosedive on US West Coast

Political districts have flipped in population centers, from San Diego in the south to Seattle in the north

'A World of Hurt': 39 States to Investigate JUUL's Marketing

Oregon is one of five states leading a bipartisan coalition looking into JUUL’s targeting of youth vaping

NEWS BRIEFS

Voting Rights Advocates File Emergency Lawsuit After Georgia Officials Strike Early Voting Sites

In a similar situation in 2016, hundreds of voters were forced to wait up to four to five hours to cast their ballot ...

Washington’s March 10 Presidential Primary Ballots Mailed to Voters

Voters required to make party declaration for this election only ...

State and Federal Agencies Aid Sunken Tugboat in Columbia River

Divers plugged fuel vents this afternoon and the vessel is not actively leaking ...

Multnomah County Promotes Voter Education Project

Multnomah County is partnering with National Association of Secretary of States (NASS) to promote #TRUSTEDINFO2020 ...

New Travel Ban Takes Effect, National Groups Respond

The expansion of the Muslim ban targets more Black immigrants ...

Oregon ramps up coronavirus preparation, faces challenges

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon ramped up efforts Friday to combat a possible outbreak of coronavirus and state health officials said potential challenges include closing schools, businesses and events, and sustained shortages of medical supplies.Gov. Kate Brown convened a response team that is...

Body found in creek, police call death suspicious

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Clackamas County authorities are investigating the suspicious death of a Portland man whose body was found this week in Johnson Creek, and they are asking the public for help.Kevin Haines Trego, 32, was pulled from the water about 4:30 p.m. Monday near Southeast 82nd...

Former AD, All-American center Dick Tamburo dies at 90

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Dick Tamburo, an athletic director at three major schools and an All-American center at Michigan State, has died. He was 90.Michigan State announced that Tamburo died Monday.A native of New Kensington, Pennsylvania, Tamburo served as the athletic director at Texas...

OPINION

Black America is Facing a Housing Crisis

As the cost of housing soars the homeless population jumps 12 percent, the number of people renting grows and homeownership falls ...

Trump Expands Muslim Ban to Target Africans

Under the new ban on countries, four out of five people who will be excluded are Africans ...

Martin Luther King Day is an Opportunity for Service

Find out where you can volunteer and make a difference to the community ...

Looking to 2020 — Put Your Vote to WORK!

Ronald Reagan, who turned his back on organized labor and started America’s middle-class into a tailspin, has recently been voted by this administration’s NLRB into the Labor Hall of Fame ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Marine general orders removal of Confederate items at bases

WASHINGTON (AP) — All Confederate flags, bumper stickers and similar items must be removed from Marine Corps bases, according to a new directive from the commandant.Marine Gen. David Berger has told his commanders to begin implementing the order or develop plans to do so by Saturday. The...

Once skeptics, conservatives out to expand Trump's base

OXON HILL, Md. (AP) — Four years ago, candidate Donald Trump didn’t bother attending the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, jabbing that he was too controversial for the buttoned-up, establishment Republican gathering. This year, as bedrock conservatives gather outside...

'Bernie or brokered': Democratic race at critical crossroads

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The Democrats' 2020 primary season enters a critical four-day stretch that will help determine whether the party rallies behind Bernie Sanders or embraces a longer and uglier slog that could carry on until the national convention.This marks a dangerous moment for a...

ENTERTAINMENT

Balmain celebrates diversity and twists classicism in Paris

PARIS (AP) — Usher unleashed a photographer's battle at Balmain on Friday, as he appeared at Paris Fashion Week alongside towering model Cindy Bruna. The designer, Olivier Rousteing said of the typically glamazon-filled fashion collection, that it was a celebration of his personal journey....

Weinstein juror: #MeToo movement was not a factor in trial

NEW YORK (AP) — The jury that convicted Harvey Weinstein of rape and sex assault did not consider the trial's implications for the #MeToo movement, one of the jurors said in an interview aired Friday.“No, zero, absolutely zero,” juror Drew Malbin said on “CBS This...

Ben Affleck on the pain and catharsis of 'The Way Back'

NEW YORK (AP) — Of the many stories that have stuck with Ben Affleck from his Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, one has especially resonated for the actor. Recovery is often described as a process of removing a damaging habit from your life. One man articulated it in a more positive way. He...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Michigan gets more than 100 complaints against former doctor

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A University of Michigan hotline has received more than 100 “unique...

Sanders-linked group entered into racial discrimination NDA

WASHINGTON (AP) — A political advocacy group founded by Bernie Sanders entered into a nondisclosure...

US reports first drug shortage tied to virus outbreak

WASHINGTON (AP) — Health officials reported the first U.S. drug shortage tied to the viral outbreak that is...

What's happening: Virus fears hit Africa, markets, churches

PARIS (AP) — Amusement parks, sports events, religious gatherings, even school. More and more things in a...

Parents of 'terrified' Africans stranded in China want help

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — She wakes every day long before dawn to chat with her three stranded daughters on...

Virus outbreak in Iran sickens hundreds, including leaders

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — After facing sanctions and the risk of war amid tensions with the United...

McMenamins
Les Christie CNN Money

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The nation's five largest banks have provided nearly $10.6 billion in mortgage relief to homeowners under a settlement that was struck with the states and federal government earlier this year, according to a preliminary progress report.

The report was issued by the Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight, which is monitoring the $25 billion settlement. In total, the five banks -- Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citibank, JP Morgan Chase, and Ally Financial -- have helped some 138,000 homeowners and have offered relief averaging $76,615 per borrower between March 1 and June 30, the office reported.

Nearly half of the total, $4.9 billion, comes from Bank of America. Ally Financial, the smallest of the lenders, has submitted just over $500 million in claims.

The settlement was meant to atone for foreclosure processing abuses dating back to 2008. Under the deal, which was approved by a federal judge in April, the banks get credit for helping homeowners avoid foreclosure, by doing such things as reducing the principal on loans and refinancing mortgages to lower interest rates.

So far, though, most of the credits banks have received for relief efforts -- 80% -- have been for debt forgiveness for deed in lieu of foreclosure or short sales. In a deed in lieu, homeowners hand over ownership of their home to the bank in exchange for debt forgiveness. In a short sale, homeowners sell their home at a price that is less than what they owe the bank and the bank agrees to absorb the loss.

In both cases, homeowners ends up losing their home. Not only that, but the hit on their credit score makes it harder to secure a mortgage in the future.

Of the $10.6 billion in relief lenders have given to homeowners under the deal, $8.6 billion has gone toward short sales and deed-in-lieu of foreclosures, according to the report. Bank of America provided some $4.8 billion in relief through this method, the most of any lender, while Chase came in second with $2.4 billion.

"Short sales are quick and dirty [modifications]," said Geoff Greenwood, communications director for the Iowa attorney general's office. "That's why you're seeing more of them coming out of the chute."

But there is a cap on how much lenders can claim for short sales under the settlement deal, explained Shaun Donovan, secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Once banks reach their limits, they won't be able to claim anything more under the settlement.

Conspicuously lacking so far is anywhere near the $17 billion in principal reduction that lenders have promised under the deal. Lenders had said they would reduce the balance owed on mortgages for those who either owed far more on their homes than they were worth or who were behind on payments. The aim was to get the mortgage balance closer to the home's value, reduce the borrower's monthly payments and help them avoid foreclosure.

However, only some $1 billion in principal reductions have occurred thus far, according to the report. Just 7,093 borrowers had their principal forgiven on their first mortgages -- for a total of $749 million. The remainder was on second mortgages.

Of the five lenders, Chase had completed the most modifications on first mortgages, $376 million worth. In contrast, Bank of America submitted no modification claims on first mortgages between March and June. However, it has started nearly $2 billion trial modifications that were moving through the trial process, more than any other bank. In second place for trial mods was Chase with $1.2 billion that were offered or approved.

Those numbers should increase dramatically, however, since many modifications have yet to be counted. Donovan said they structured the settlement to require borrowers to keep up payments during a 90-day trial period before they're considered successful modifications. At that point, the monitor will credit the cost of the modification to the bank's account.

Currently, more than 28,000 trial modifications of all types are in progress, said Donovan. He said an additional $3 billion worth of modifications should be included in the first official report to be released in November.

"The banks are heading in the right direction," said Donovan. "This will deliver real relief to consumers."

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