October 7, 2008
OAKLAND, Calif.— Gov. Schwarzenegger should make mortgage reform a key part of his efforts to address California’s budget and financial woes, according to a coalition of consumer, research, and policy organizations. The groups maintain that the state’s financial crisis will not abate until there is a real reduction in the number of mortgage foreclosures.
After vetoing the strongest of the Legislature’s mortgage bills two weeks ago, the governor has scheduled a meeting with leaders of the California Senate and Assembly to discuss California’s budget tomorrow.
“California is home to 1,300 foreclosures every business day, which are pushing housing prices down, eroding wealth from millions of homeowners and draining the state and local governments of critical revenue,” said Norma Garcia, Senior Attorney for Consumers Union. “Something must be done to save our neighborhoods and stop the erosion of the economy. We urge Gov. Schwarzenegger to lead a bi-partisan push to get foreclosures under control.”
The coalition proposes a comprehensive foreclosure and mortgage reform agenda including:
“California is at the epicenter of the foreclosure crisis,” said Emily Rusch, Advocate with CALPIRG, “and it’s not over yet. Without action, 200,000 option ARMs will lead to yet another huge wave of foreclosures. To protect California consumers and our economy, the governor and Legislature must act to prevent foreclosures in the short-term, and adopt reforms to prevent a crisis of this magnitude from ever happening again,” Rusch said.
AB 1830, considered to be the centerpiece of the Legislature’s mortgage reform bills, was vetoed by the governor two weeks ago. Other vetoed bills would have given homeowners better notice before an adjustable rate mortgage adjusted to a higher rate and would have strengthened the Department of Real Estate’s oversight and enforcement of mortgage brokers.
“California’s budget woes stem from the lack of revenue the state has been able to bring in trough property taxes, which can be directly attributed to the hard-hitting impact of the crisis to our state,” said Ronald Coleman of California ACORN. “It is in Gov. Schwarzenegger’s best interest to fix this problem for our state’s economy and protect our families. So far, he has done virtually nothing and the problem continues to get much worse.”
Norma Garcia, Consumers Union – 415-431-6747
Ginna Green, Center for Responsible Lending – 510-379-5513