The Madeleine Brand Show for February 2, 2012

New mortgage plan proposes bank punishment by states

August Foreclosures Rise To Highest Since Level Beginning Of Housing Crisis

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The housing crisis continues, as government searches for new solutions. A Bank Owned sign is seen in front of a foreclosed home on September 16, 2010 in Miami, Florida.

Mortgage rates are at record lows this morning. Meanwhile, a settlement plan goes after banks who've engaged in mortgage abuses.

If you're a home owner, now would be a great time to refinance. Mortgage rates are at record lows this morning. The average on a 30-year fixed mortgage is about 3.8 percent. And for a 15-year mortgage, 3.1 percent.

That's something President Obama proposed yesterday, he wants a big expansion of a government program that backs homeowners who want to refinance. It would be paid for by fees on banks, an idea both Republicans and Democrats have opposed.

Meanwhile, there's an idea gaining traction that would give states like California broad authority to go after banks who've engaged in mortgage abuses.

Guest:

Rick Rothacker, author and Reuters reporter.


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