AirTalk for February 9, 2012

California signs on to landmark settlement deal…but is it a windfall for homeowners?

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A sign is seen in front of a foreclosed home in Rio Vista, California.

As of two days ago California was one of the last states holding out against a national settlement with banks to pay back homeowners for mortgage abuses. California Attorney General Kamala Harris had originally supported the plan but last fall decided to pull out of the deal because the settlement agreement indemnified banks from further prosecution. But today she’s changed her tune.

Today she’s announcing that California has signed on to the settlement deal, and about $18 billion dollars would be coming to the states homeowners. According to Harris, that’s about $14 billion dollars MORE than they would have gotten if they’d settled for the original agreement back in September. There’s also a side deal just for California that says banks have enact principal reductions for homeowners and if they don’t they’ll see a sizable fine.

Many, including Harris, have called the original deal inadequate saying it would only net California homeowners a couple thousand dollars at best. We’ll talk to the experts about whether or not this new deal is any better and how much help homeowners can expect to get.

WEIGH IN:

Was Attorney General Harris’ holdout a windfall for California or just a little too little far too late?

Guests:

Richard Green, Director of the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate

Liz Ryan Murray, Policy Director, National People's Action (described as a network of grassroots organizations across the country that work to advance a national economic and racial justice agenda); Former Affordable Housing Business Manager, Fannie Mae


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