Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today after the Departments of Justice and Housing and Urban Development, California Attorney General Kamala Harris, and state attorneys general across the country announced a $25 billion settlement addressing servicing and foreclosure abuses by the country's five largest banks. The agreement will provide relief to many homeowners at risk of foreclosure, with Californians set to receive as much as $18 billion for principal reduction and refinancing opportunities for homeowners with negative equity, assistance to unemployed homeowners, and other initiatives to stem the foreclosure crisis in the state:
"Today's multi-state mortgage settlement is a positive step forward for homeowners in California and across the country. Though limited in its reach, this agreement will help move us towards a more stable housing market and, in doing so, strengthen our economy.
"I commend the Obama Administration and state leaders for their hard work and their commitment to protect middle class families. Congress must remain vigilant and ensure that mortgage servicers hold up their end of the bargain so we can bring immediate relief to families who need it most.
"Throughout the settlement negotiations, California Attorney General Kamala Harris never compromised her basic principle that California homeowners, especially those hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis, must be better off with a settlement than without one. She earned the respect of her colleagues and now the gratitude of our state's families. Her hard work and steadfast leadership resulted in a better deal for California's homeowners, one that holds servicers accountable and preserves the state's ability to further investigate significant abuses in the mortgage market. We thank her for standing strong and protecting the interests of middle class families in California."
"The settlement covers only a small portion of the two million California homeowners estimated to be underwater. To help more underwater homeowners, President Obama, in his State of the Union address, urged Congress to pass legislation making it easier for responsible homeowners to refinance their mortgages at historically low mortgage rates. I urge the House Republican leadership to schedule this legislation for a vote so that more responsible homeowners not covered by the settlement, and whose homes have lost value through no fault of their own, can have access to refinancing opportunities."