Transcript: Associate AG Tom Perrelli’s remarks on the $25 billion mortgage settlement

 

Associate Attorney General Tom Perrelli speaking to reporters about the $25 billion multi-state mortgage settlement. SOURCE: C-Span.org

Remarks by Associate Attorney General Tom Perrelli on the $25 billion housing settlement with the nation’s 5 largest mortgage servicers:

“Thanks everybody. I really appreciate the very kind words.

“I think it’s been said. Look, in Washington you hear a lot about bureaucracies, about multiple agencies with overlapping missions, about turf fights, about battles between federal authorities and state sovereignty.

“But when you lose your home to a foreclosure, you don’t want to hear about bureaucracy and you don’t want to hear excuses. You want a government that actually solves problems.

“The resolution that we reached today shows what can happen when people put aside turf wars and focus on what they can do together to make things better.

“When the robo-signing allegations first surfaced, it was apparent that an alphabet soup of government agencies have various roles to play. And from state Attorneys General to state banking regulators to federal banking regulators to all the federal agencies and investigative arms that support and enforce the laws in the housing market in various ways, there were any number of ways that the government could have addressed this. And we could have addressed this and we could have pulled at each other in all the wrong directions.

“Instead, we decided to work together. We began talking about and working together about all the different ways to solve the problems that we faced. We all had different tool, different perspectives, and – let’s be frank – different goals.


“But public officials on both sides of the aisle across the country decided that we want to do something together that would be better law enforcement, better housing policy, and better for the consumers who we serve.

“I think it’s been said you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more effective state-federal cooperative effort anywhere.

“On the federal side, we had agencies with teams of investigators, open investigations, strong enforcement authorities and deep expertise. And we joined with states that had long-standing investigations, on-the-ground perspectives, very different housing markets, and fantastic lawyers. And step-by-step with a united front, we found our way.

“There are so many people that one could thank. Some of the agencies who have been extraordinary partners in this – the federal banking regulators – OCC, the Fed, and the FDIC, who have worked with us over time and I know that will be issuing some orders of their own today and in the coming days.

“I think when a chapter of this history is written, one of the things that they will find is that the U.S. Trustee Program, represented here by Director Cliff White, and the Federal Trade Commission, represented here by Chairman Jon Leibowitz, were actually the first to recognize many of those issues. And if you go back in history and see the Countrywide settlement that they negotiated sometime ago, they were at the forefront of this and they have been extraordinary partners, and I really thank them and appreciate them.

“The Treasury Department here represented by Assistant Secretary Tim Massad has been a tremendous partner, both with their deep knowledge of the housing market as well as understanding how we can best and most effectively help homeowners.

“A number of the state Attorneys General talked about the extraordinary work of the assistants throughout the country. I particularly would like to thank Brian Howe from my office, who’s just an extraordinary public servant and who has worked tirelessly on this. And while people have said some nice things about me, they should be talking ten-fold about his work because he has been the glue, along with Patrick Madigan, of Iowa to hold this together.

“I think the last thing I’d like to say is our work will not be finished as we ultimately file this case as a consent judgment in federal court in the next few weeks. As the Attorney General said, we’re going to continue to investigate and collaborate with our state and federal partners on issues related to mortgage-backed securities and other issues.

“We’ll continue to work to make sure with the monitor that this settlement is fully enforced and it fulfills this goal.

“This team – the team you see here – and many folks around the country and in the audience is going to continue to try and ensure that we obtain complete redress for all the harm brought to the American people in the housing crisis.

“Thank you very much.”

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3 Comments on “Transcript: Associate AG Tom Perrelli’s remarks on the $25 billion mortgage settlement

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