NEW: Cicilline Calls For Full Accountability In Housing Crisis
Thursday, October 06, 2011
In letters to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin, Congressman David Cicilline called upon each to reject any settlement proposal with Wall Street Banks that does not hold those responsible for the housing crisis fully accountable.
“We owe it to Rhode Island families, and those across this nation at risk of foreclosure or who have already lost their homes, to ensure that those responsible for pushing our housing market off a cliff, are held accountable” reads part of Congressman Cicilline’s letter to Kilmartin.
A potential Global Settlement Agreement is currently being negotiated by state Attorney Generals, the Department of Justice, and financial institutions such as Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Ally Financial and Wells Fargo. While the discussions are being conducted behind closed doors, recent reports indicate that the deal proposed may prevent full investigations from being conducted. It would also provide broad liability release for both civil and criminal actions in exchange for a lump-sum payment by the financial institutions.
In his letter, Congressman Cicilline cited Rhode Island Housing’s projection that roughly 9,000 new foreclosure proceedings will be initiated in the Ocean State this year, and tells Kilmartin:
“I am urging that you continue your record of standing up for Rhode Island families by ensuring that the harm inflicted on our state will be fully mitigated by those responsible, while also rejecting any deal that provides for immunity from serious criminal prosecutions, or fraudulent practices yet to be investigated.”
Though it’s been years since Rhode Island first slipped into recession, the housing crisis continues to plague homeowners. According to a study by HousingWorks RI, the problem may be getting worse. Foreclosure deed filings in Rhode Island are up nearly 20% this year, averaging 188 per month through the first half of 2011.