Americans for Financial Reform Issues New Survey Showing Public Support for Requiring Lenders To Do More To Help Borrowers Stay in Homes

Majority of Voters Believe Elected Officials Should Be Tougher On Banks And Mortgage Lenders

WASHINGTON, Nov. 16, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Americans for Financial Reform (AFR) today released results of a November 2010 poll conducted by Lake Research Partners showing that across party lines, voters are strongly in favor of requiring financial institutions to do more to help home owners stay in their homes. The study finds that the majority of voters believe elected officials should do more to reign in banks and mortgage lenders, and to protect American home owners by helping prevent foreclosures.

With 1.2 million foreclosures filed already in the first half of 2010, 1 in 7 borrowers are delinquent or are already in foreclosure.  The looming danger if nothing different is done is that as many as 13 million Americans will lose their homes to foreclosure.  It is not surprising that public opinion strongly supports a change.  People correctly hold the biggest Wall Street banks responsible for the financial and economic crisis, and now they are both experiencing first-hand and hearing more and more about irregularities and illegalities in the servicing, foreclosure, and securitization process.  The public wants more to be done to prevent foreclosures, and they support requiring lenders to modify mortgages so that more borrowers are able to pay their bills and stay in their homes.  

Lisa Donner, executive director, Americans for Financial Reform, said, "Requiring modifications and stopping preventable foreclosures is the right thing to do for the economy, for homeowners, for communities, and in many cases for investors, too.  Financial institutions, policy makers and regulators should take heed of the strong public support for such a mandate, and for holding the biggest banks and servicers accountable."

The Survey's most important findings include:

  • Voters support requiring financial institutions to work with homeowners to renegotiate mortgages. This support extends across party and ideological lines, including majority support from self identified Tea Party voters, and to every region of the country.  In all, 75% support requiring renegotiation.
  • Voters believe that elected officials are doing too little to prevent foreclosures, and have not been tough enough on banks and mortgage lenders who violate rules or break the law. 72% of those surveyed say elected officials have not been tough enough.
  • Voters believe that home foreclosures are an important issue. 90% believe it is either very or somewhat important.

"There's no question that Americans are tired of the double standard in which the big banks always win and hardworking families always lose," said Nancy Zirkin, Executive Vice President, Policy of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. "Policymakers can no longer ignore the need to take drastic measures to deal with the massive foreclosure problem that imperils our economy. Homeowners taken for a ride by fraudulent lenders -- a disproportionate number of them involving Latino and African-American families -- should have every opportunity to hold on to their homes."

"The verdict is clear. The American people want leaders in Washington to use the full extent of their power to hold the nation's biggest banks accountable for keeping families in their homes," said Rev. Dr. Mario Howell of PICO National Network.  "People of all beliefs and persuasions know that we are all in this boat together, and that continuing to allow banks to needlessly foreclose on millions of families will only drive down housing values further and hold back economic recovery for everyone."

CONTACT: Erin Kilroy for AFR at (202) 466-1885 or erin@ourfinancialsecurity.org.

ABOUT AFR

Americans for Financial Reform (www.ourfinancialsecurity.org) is a coalition of more than 250 national, state and local consumer, labor, investor, civil rights, community, small business, and senior citizen organizations that have come together to together to fighting for a banking and financial system based on accountability, fairness and security.

SOURCE Americans for Financial Reform, Washington, D.C.



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http://www.ourfinancialsecurity.org/

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