Magazine article Mortgage Banking

AG Settlement Will Be Catalyst for More State Legislative Activity

Magazine article Mortgage Banking

AG Settlement Will Be Catalyst for More State Legislative Activity

Article excerpt

Robert Power, senior vice president of public policy for Bank of America, Charlotte, North Carolina, spoke at a panel on how state legislation is affecting servicing at the Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA's) National Mortgage Servicing Conference & Expo in Orlando, Florida. He told the audience that up until 2009 most state legislatures had not given mortgage servicing much thought at all. But he added that all changed in 2009 through 2010.

Power predicted that the attorneys general (AG) settlement reached in February "will be a catalyst for a lot of state legislative activity."

He said some of the ideas that have come out of the states already may he making things worse. He told the servicing conference audience, "We've seen a lot of recycled, repackaged old ideas." One exam pie he cited was foreclosure moratoriums.

He added that some states passed similar programs to the federal government's Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). He also said more than 30 states have mandated mediation programs prior to foreclosures.

Power questioned whether there would be a statutory hangover from all these laws remaining on the books. "In a lot of cases, they may have done more harm than good," he said. Power said there has been a misunderstanding that there could be simple solutions like moratoriums. He says the industry has to accept that legislators want to pass something. "Their job is to get reelected and then pass legislation,' he said.

But more recently, he said, he has noticed a gradual shift. …

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