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Mich. foundation proposes foreclosure policy reforms
LANSING, Mich. (2/12/09)--Policy recommendations from Michigan Credit Union Foundation-commissioned study on foreclosures were presented Wednesday before the State Senate Banking Committee. The foundation had commissioned the Madison, Wis.-based Filene Research Institute to examine the state's foreclosure problem and find areas where public policy can make a difference. Filene identified 10 policy proposals. "The Michigan Credit Union League (MCUL) will work with state and federal lawmakers and regulators to review the recommendations and look for ways to implement those policy recommendations that we believe will help move Michigan forward during this difficult economic situation," said David Adams, president/CEO of the Michigan Credit Union League. He added the league "recognizes the need to find a proper balance between helping homeowners stay in their homes and reducing the significant exposure that lenders have in this difficult housing market." The policy recommendations include legislative actions and public and private initiatives. The legislative proposals cover streamlining the foreclosure process, creating shared-equity loan modification programs, requiring lender accountability, strategic and judicious use of consumer bankruptcy filings, and establishing a mortgage modification database. The public and private initiative recommendations include the formation of local and state working groups, responsible debt relief programs, local debt summits and a consumer hotline for assisting homeowners in locating the mortgage holding company. Filene found that many of the national foreclosure initiatives adopted last year have limited effect and that some programs will require future loan adjustments. Michigan is experiencing economic distress faster than any other state, Filene found. Its mortgage delinquency rates are the seventh highest in the nation and its foreclosure rate is sixth highest. A copy of the recommendations is available on MCUL's website.
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