NCLR EXPRESSES OPTIMISM ON FORECLOSURE PLAN WHILE URGING QUICK ACTION
Washington, DC—The National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States, applauds the Foreclosure Relief plan outlined yesterday by the Obama administration but warns that the success of the plan hinges on careful oversight and effective implementation.
“The administration has proposed what is by far the boldest and most comprehensive foreclosure prevention and mitigation proposal we’ve seen,” said NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía. “If it works as we believe it can, it would finally represent a light at the end of the tunnel for millions of families living in fear of losing their homes.”
The strongest elements of the plan include a formula for modifying at-risk mortgages based on proposals first advanced by Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Chair Sheila Bair, a series of incentives designed to encourage servicers and lenders to participate in the program, and significant bolstering of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s capacity to support a viable mortgage market.
Noting that as many as one-in-ten Latinos (If all these Latino home owners are American citizens, why not say Latino Americans?...could it be that La Raza feels all Illegal Aliens are already UNDOCUMENTED CITIZENS?) may be at risk of foreclosure, Murguía continued, “A big problem requires a big solution. If your neighbor’s house is foreclosed on, it’s likely that the value of every house on the block will fall further. Moreover, as long as the foreclosure crisis continues, it is unlikely that the credit markets will work properly. After years of piecemeal, largely ineffective responses, it appears that we finally have the package that has the potential to actually solve the problem.”
Murguía cautioned, however, that critically important details of the program have yet to be finalized and some areas may require strengthening. “Although the details are not yet available, NCLR firmly supports loan modification guidelines that recipients of federal funds must follow. Given the recent history of voluntary programs’ ineffectiveness, we’re concerned that if some lenders, servicers, or investors choose not to participate, a significant portion of worthy homeowners might not be covered. We therefore call on all lenders and servicers to embrace this approach and launch aggressive campaigns to modify troubled mortgages.”
Recent experience also shows that many at-risk borrowers, especially those with limited education or language barriers, do not have the necessary information or easy access to sources of culturally competent help. Thus, this program needs to be accompanied by significant support—in the President’s budget and from the private sector—for housing counselors and other trusted sources of information. It is noted here for our readers that to be a United States citizen, you are supposed to be able to read and speak English...let us translate what La Raza is really saying here...we want Obama to GIVE US, and ORGANIZATIONS LIKE OURS millions of dollars to provide SPANISH SPEAKING EXPERTS TO OUR PEOPLE. Here is a suggestion La Raza...go to your PRIVATE DONOR to get money for those SPANISH SPEAKING PROFESSIONALS.
America needs to preserve the opportunity for credit-worthy families (insert-who are Legal American Citizens or Legal Immigrant. This plan specifically bars Illegal Aliens from participation.) to buy a home while ensuring that we never face this kind of crisis again. NCLR will work with the Obama administration, Congress, and the private sector on long-term strategies to improve the nation’s economy, including legislation to prevent predatory lending, a strengthened regulatory system, strong fair-housing enforcement, and the restoration of a healthy mortgage market.