We watched predatory lending, and watched the mortgage crisis build. Most people did not realize financial folly would lead to a crisis of great proportion, but we did. Here at Mortgage Crisis Daily we documented abuses and changes to laws that permitted abuse in mortgage and lending.
At least five years have passed since the worst of the mortgage crisis. Many companies failed, MERS lawsuits continue, and frankly we’ve lost track of them – there are so many of them.
But changes were made. One change for the good that perhaps had the greatest effect on American families were positive changes to credit card laws. Changes in home finance, refinance, and second mortages have not gained much traction.
What follows are key parts of President Obama’s January 2012 State Of The Union address pertaining to areas we mentioned:
….responsible homeowners shouldn’t have to sit and wait for the housing market to hit bottom to get some relief. That’s why I’m sending this Congress a plan that gives every responsible homeowner the chance to save about $3,000 a year on their mortgage, by refinancing at historically low interest rates. No more red tape. No more runaround from the banks.
A small fee on the largest financial institutions will ensure that it won’t add to the deficit, and will give banks that were rescued by taxpayers a chance to repay a deficit of trust. Let’s never forget: millions of Americans who work hard and play by the rules every day deserve a government and a financial system that do the same.
I will not go back to the days when Wall Street was allowed to play by its own set of rules. The new rules we passed restore what should be any financial system’s core purpose: Getting funding to entrepreneurs with the best ideas, and getting loans to responsible families who want to buy a home, start a business, or send a kid to college.
So if you’re a big bank or financial institution, you are no longer allowed to make risky bets with your customers’ deposits. You’re required to write out a “living will” that details exactly how you’ll pay the bills if you fail – because the rest of us aren’t bailing you out ever again.
And if you’re a mortgage lender or a payday lender or a credit card company, the days of signing people up for products they can’t afford with confusing forms and deceptive practices are over. Today, American consumers finally have a watchdog in Richard Cordray with one job: To look out for them.
We will also establish a Financial Crimes Unit of highly trained investigators to crack down on large-scale fraud and protect people’s investments. Some financial firms violate major anti-fraud laws because there’s no real penalty for being a repeat offender…So pass legislation that makes the penalties for fraud count.
As always, we will revisit this in the future to see how effective these “new” measures are. Thus continues our daily diary of the mortgage crisis – before, during, and after predatory lending became legal subprime stupidity.