The President’s State of the Union speech is set for tonight, and among the many economic, political and social issues he is sure to address, many are speculating if one of the more lingering debates in housing will finally be resolved – what, if any, settlement will be agreed upon between State’s Attorneys General, financial entities and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
A product of the much-maligned robo signing scandals of 2010, which involved banks and lenders signing foreclosure papers en masse without any of the legally-mandated reviews and regulations, the mortgage settlement has popped up in news cycles every four weeks or so throughout the year with no clear end point, though rumblings of a deal have certainly arisen, including the latest today from meetings in Chicago.
In a HousingWire article surveying Obama’s impending speech, two congressman spoke to the nature of the settlement.
One, Senator Sherrod Brown, a Democrat from Ohio and one of the most vocal consumer advocates in the Senate, said he hopes Obama mentions a farther-reaching investigation into the robo signing scandal.
“There seems to be evidence that he may do something, and we hope ‘the something’ is launching a wider investigation,” Brown said, who indicated that such an investigation would be overseen by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and its newly-appointed director, Richard Cordray, who, as HousingWire points out, was not only Ohio’s Attorney General, but one who brought several lawsuits against mortgage servicers.
Two, Rep. Brad Miller, a Democrat from North Carolina, said the address may even include an official announcement of the settlement, though the White House has not confirmed such news and Iowa’s Attorney General, Tom Miller, said a full announcement of the settlement would not come this week, according to HousingWire.
HousingWire also points out that Miller’s office has clarified, on numerous occasions, that attorney generals can still launch independent criminal and civil suits regardless of the settlement’s outcome.