Monday, April 30, 2012

Tea Party lawmakers and governor sweeping money intended to help with the mortgage crisis to finance irresponsible budget

STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – The most recent Republican budget proposals released today confirms that Tea Party legislators are attempting to take $50 million from a fund designed to help families impacted by the foreclosure crisis.

“This is shameful,” House Minority Whip Anna Tovar, D-Tolleson (District 13), said. “Arizona had the highest foreclosure rate in the country last month. Despite that, Tea Party legislators and the governor want to subsidize private prisons and irresponsible tax cuts by raiding a fund that is supposed to help families.”

Currently, the Republican budget sweeps $50 million from the Arizona Attorney General’s Mortgage Settlement Fund. The fund was created by a joint state-federal settlement with Arizona and 48 other states, the federal government and the country’s five largest residential mortgage loan servicers who engaged in fraudulent loan and foreclosure practices. The money is supposed to be used to help families impacted by the foreclosure crisis. Key provisions of the settlement include:

  • Providing support to homeowners needing loan modifications.
  • Help for homeowners who are current on their mortgages but underwater.
  • Payments to homeowners who lost their homes.
Rep. Debbie McCune Davis, D- Phoenix (District 14), wants to amend the Republican budget to protect this fund.

“This settlement was supposed to provide $97.7 million for state foreclosure prevention programs,” McCune Davis said. “All of that money should be used to help families. Not a penny should go to subsidize the governor’s unrealistic budget. That’s why tomorrow I intend to offer an amendment that would remove this item from the Republican budget proposal.”

For more information on the mortgage settlement fund go to www.azag.gov/consumer/foreclosure/settlement.html.

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