Deadline nears for mortgage settlement

Jeff Tyler Feb 3, 2012

Jeremy Hobson: Well states have until Monday to decide if they want to join a national settlement with banks over abusive mortgage practices. The deal could be worth up to $25 billion, but not every state wants in.

Marketplace’s Jeff Tyler reports.

Jeff Tyler: What’s better? Take the banks to court and risk years of litigation? Or cut a deal and move forward?

Keith Dubanevich is chief of staff for Oregon’s attorney general.

Keith Dubanevich: The fact that we can now provide some direct benefit to people that are facing foreclosure this year, as opposed to sometime down the road, is one of the substantial reasons that we felt this was a benefit to Oregon and we wanted to sign on.

Under the deal, banks would modify loans. That could be worth as much as $200 million for Oregon homeowners. The dollar amounts vary from state to state. The reforms are more universal.

Kathleen Day is with The Center for Responsible Lending.

Kathleen Day: So it would end the so-called robo-signing, where employees were just signing things, attesting to things in a court of law that they had no idea about. That’s just fraud. And banks won’t be able to do it.

Day says the settlement isn’t perfect, but it helps people keep their homes. She says that’s important because research shows we’re only halfway through the total number of expected foreclosures.

I’m Jeff Tyler for Marketplace.

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