Obama hails housing settlement, vows to keep heat on banks
Thursday, February 09, 2012 - 04:17
Feb. 9 - President Barack Obama said a new $25 billion housing settlement will turn the page on a period of abusive foreclosure practices and vowed to make sure that big U.S. banks live up to their end of the bargain. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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We have reached a landmark settlement with the nation's largest banks that will speed relief to the hardest hit homeowners. And some of the most abusive practices of the mortgage industry. And Begin to turn the page on an error recklessness. That is less so much damage in its wake. By now it's well known that millions of Americans who did the right thing and the responsible thing. Shop for house secured mortgage that they could afford. Made their payments on time we're nevertheless. Hurt badly by irresponsible actions of others. By lenders who sold loans to people. Who couldn't afford them. My buyers who knew they couldn't afford them. By speculators -- were looking to make a quick buck. My banks that took risky mortgages packaged them up and trade of the mall. Four. Large profits. It was wrong. The cost more than four million families their homes to foreclosure. Even worse many companies that handled. These foreclosures didn't give people fighting chance to hold on to their homes. In many cases they didn't even verified that these foreclosures. Were actually legitimate. Some of the people they hired to process foreclosures use fake signatures to on fake documents to speed up the foreclosure process. Some of them didn't read what they were signing at all. Gotta think about that. You work you save your entire life to buy a home. That's where you RAZR family that's where. Your kids memories are formed. That's your stake your claim on the American dream. And the person signed the document couldn't take. Enough time. To even make sure that the foreclosure. Was legitimate. These practices were plainly irresponsible. And we refused. To let them go unanswered. So about a year ago our federal law enforcement agencies teamed up we have a state. Attorneys general to get to the bottom of these abuses. The settlement we've reached today thanks to the work of some of the folks were on this stage. Is the largest joint federal state settlement in our nation's history. Is the result of that extraordinary cooperation. Under the terms of this -- America's biggest banks. Banks that were rescued by taxpayer dollars will be required. To write these wrong it's. That means more than just paying a -- These banks won't put billions of dollars towards relief for families across the nation. They'll provide refinancing for borrowers that are stuck in high interest rate mortgages. They'll reduce. Loans for families who owe more on their homes than their work. And they will deliver some measure of justice for families -- been victims of abuse of practices. All told this is just good for these families it's good for their neighborhoods. It's good for their communities and it's good for our economy. The settlement also protects our ability to further investigate the practices that caused this mess and this is important. The mortgage fraud task force I announced in my State of the Union Address retains its full authority to aggressively investigate. The packaging and selling of risky mortgages let that led to this crisis. This investigation is already well underway and working closely with state attorneys general we're gonna keep at it until we hold those who broke the law. Fully accountable. Now wanna be clear. No compensation. No amount of money. No measure of justice is enough to make it right for family who's had. Their appease the American dream wrongly taken from. And no action no matter how meaningful. Is -- by itself entirely -- the housing market. But this settlement is a -- We're gonna make sure that the banks live up to their end of the bargain. If they don't. We've set up an independent inspector a monitor that has the power to make sure they pay exactly. What they agreed to pay. Plus a penalty. If they fail to act in accordance with -- agreement.
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