Oklahoma is lone maverick in national mortgage settlement signed by 49 states

BY RICHARD MIZE richardmize@opubco.com Published: February 10, 2012

Pruitt said his concerns with the national settlement negotiation began last March when the scope of the investigation went beyond fraud and illegal practices to requiring loan modifications, principal reductions and a fine up to $25 billion.

He said he thought the national settlement overreached the power of state attorneys general. Also, he said it inappropriately benefited homeowners who stopped making house payments over those who kept paying even though they owned more than their houses were worth after the national housing market crash.

“We had concerns that what started as an effort to correct specific practices harmful to consumers morphed into an attempt by President Barack Obama to establish an overarching regulatory scheme, which Congress had previously rejected, to fundamentally restructure the mortgage industry in the United States,” Pruitt said. It started “being co-opted by Washington to turn into something to fix the housing market. That's not the role of the attorney general.”

He also complained that the national settlement did not include Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac and that it could have negative consequences for community banks.



Information

The attorney general's Public Protect Unit will process applications for damages. To file a complaint, call 521-2029, send an email to PublicProtection@oag.ok.gov or go online to the Oklahoma Mortgage Settlement Page at www.oag.ok.gov. Homeowners who think they were wrongly put through foreclosure will have to go to the website to fill out paperwork.

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