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State Reps Intro FAIR Act to Direct Foreclosure Funds to Homeowners

Rep. Cory Mason (D-Racine) and Rep. Tamara Grigsby (D-Milwaukee) say they want money to go to homeowners and not to plug a hole in the state budget.

Saying the entire pot of $140 million national foreclosure funds should go to Wisconsin homeowners and not to help plug a hole in the state budget, state Democratic Representatives Cory Mason and Tamara Grigsby introduced legislation to make it happen.

Called the FAIR Act (Foreclosure Aid, Integrity, and Relief), the bill would force Governor Scott Walker to use some $25.6 million to help homeowners across the state.

According to a story on Forbes.com, Wisconsin's share of a $25 billion settlement with five of the largest banks that participated in illegal mortgage practices will be $140 million. $31 million of that money is marked for the state to help fund "future law enforcement efforts, providing additional relief to borrowers, paying civil penalties, funding of foreclosure relief programs and to compensate the state for its losses from the crisis."

But WBAY in Green Bay reports the decision to use $26 million of that $31 million to help plug a projected $143 million hole in the state budget was made by Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen in consultation with Walker. The Governor reportedly said that state finances have been affected by the mortgage crisis so using the funds in this manner is appropriate.

In a written release, Mason said, "The middle class families in Wisconsin who are dealing with the foreclosure crisis have already been ripped off once by Wall Street. I will not stand by and let them be ripped off again by Scott Walker.”

FOX 6 News quoted Cullen Werwie, press secretary for the Governor's office as saying, "Governor Walker supports allocating the funding from the banks based on the terms contained in the settlement. The vast majority of funding from the banks will go to Wisconsin homeowners.”

But Mason and Grigsby don't agree with this reasoning. Their FAIR Act pushes that $25.6 million into programs to help victims of the foreclosure schemes and to help fund programs for tenants and veterans awho might be facing foreclosure and homelessness.

“Scott Walker’s raid of these funds takes money right out of the pockets of families hit hard by the foreclosure crisis,” said Mason. “The legislation Rep. Grigsby and I are introducing will ensure that the funds received from this foreclosure settlement are used for their intended purpose: preventing additional foreclosures and assisting those Wisconsin homeowners whose lives have been upended by foreclosure.”

Both representatives are hoping for bipartisan support for what they call "this common sense proposal."

C. Sanders February 16, 2012 at 12:47 PM
Rees Roberts Thank you for locating the deleted post. Your kindness is much appreciated.
mau February 16, 2012 at 10:50 PM
Reading comments here and on some of the other blogs, about the evil bankers, wall street, 1% vs 99%, caused me to go back and watch a PBS Frontline special called The Warning. I am by far not a financial expert, in fact my eyes blur over when I try to understand it, but I can tell you, you can not keep using the fox to guard the hen house. Some of the key players (Geitner, Rubin, Summers), who have been involved in the meltdown of our financial system, are or have been on Obama's economic team. This crosses party lines and neither party is going to do anything about it as the money continues to flow into their coffers. The only one who has any serious plans to turn the tide is Ron Paul. PBS Frontline The Warning http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TtJql2aqjkw Robert Rubin’s disciples dominate Obama economic team http://news.muckety.com/2008/11/24/obama-taps-robert-rubin-proteges-but-they-no-longer-espouse-rubinomics/7391
Heather Asiyanbi February 17, 2012 at 12:19 AM
@mau - you are exactly right with you fox watching the hen house statement! We can't have the banking industry policing themselves. Been there, done that and we're not done climbing out of the hole that policy helped create.
Randy1949 February 17, 2012 at 01:03 AM
@JRH -- what about people whose homes were foreclosed on fraudulently? This settlement was to help them too. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/07/robo-signing-docx-missouri_n_1261369.html
Jimmy Neutron February 17, 2012 at 01:39 AM
Thanks for posting "The Warning" Mau. I've never seen it, but I have heard about it, and have been wanting to watch it. Brooksley Born had her career buried by Rubin, Summers and Greenspan after she voiced her concern with the derivatives market. Rubin, with the help of keeping the status quo, went on to make $125M at Citi after he left Clinton's team.

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