Arizona Outrage: Homeowner Settlement Money Used to Enrich Prison System

Bear in mind that Arizona was one of the four states hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis.  Remember that the banks created a huge, profitable (for them) market for sub-prime, Alt-A, and other exotic predatory loans.  Remember that the 50-state Attorney General group settled with the banks for pennies (to them) for their violations of criminal and civil law, without a meaningful investigation.  The only good for homeowners that came out of it was a pledge to pay Arizona approximately $97 million for HOMEOWNER RELIEF.

Here’s an excerpt from  yesterday’s press release (full release here)  from the Arizona Housing Alliance regarding what our state legislators have planned for this HOMEOWNER RELIEF:

Arizona received a payment of $97.7 million to a mortgage settlement fund as part of a settlement reached by 49 states and the country’s five largest mortgage loan servicers who engaged in fraudulent foreclosure practices. The consent judgment stipulates the money should be used to avoid preventable foreclosures, to ameliorate the effects of the foreclosure crisis, and to prevent mortgage fraud.

Governor Brewer’s and top Republican legislative leaders’ state budget deal includes a $50 million sweep from the mortgage settlement fund to pay for private prison contracts to provide an extra 500 maximum security beds.

“We are concerned that money intended to reach distressed homeowners might be used for other purposes,” said Andrea Esquer from the Homeowner Advocacy Unit at the Civil Justice Clinic at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, “and we plan to monitor the use of the settlement funds to make sure that homeowners’ rights are protected.”

Arizona Housing Alliance estimates that the intended use of the $50 million could provide 75,000 troubled homeowners with housing counseling and 10,000 homeowners with legal assistance. 9,497 properties in Arizona received foreclosure filings last month, the highest foreclosure rate in the country as reported by RealtyTrac.

We are strongly opposed to the sweep of mortgage settlement funds for uses other than those specified in the agreement,” said Val Iverson, Arizona Housing Alliance Executive Director. “This money should help distressed neighborhoods and homeowners, not buy more prison beds.”

If you are outraged by this theft, please contact your legislators, Governor Brewer, AG Tom Horne immediately.

Some other ideas for who to contact for support, and to voice your concern, and enlist assistance (courtesy of Darrell Blomberg and Foreclosure Strategists):

            Arizona:

Arizona Department of Financial Institutions ARS §6-110 et seq.

Arizona Corporation Commission ARS §10-120 et seq.

Arizona Supreme Court ARS §12-101 et seq.

Arizona Clerk of the Supreme Court ARS §12-201 et seq.

Arizona Clerk of the Superior Court ARS §12-281 et seq.

Arizona Department of Insurance ARS §20-101 et seq.

Arizona Department of Real Estate ARS §32-2101 et seq.

Arizona State Board of Appraisal ARS §32-3601 et seq.

Arizona Governor ARS §41-101 et seq.

Arizona Secretary of the State ARS §41-121 et seq.

Arizona Attorney General ARS §41-191 et seq.

Arizona Constitutional Defense Council ARS §41-401 et seq.

Attorney General Review of Rule Making ARS §41-1044

Administrative Rules Oversight Committee ARS §41-1046 et seq.

Arizona Governor’s Regulatory Review Council ARS §41-1051 et seq.

Arizona President of the Senate ARS §41-1102

Arizona Speaker of the House ARS §41-1102

Arizona Legislative Council ARS §41-1301 et seq.

Arizona Office of Ombudsman-Citizens Aide ARS §41-1371 et seq.

Civil Rights Division and Civil Rights Advisory Board ARS §41-1401 et seq.

Civil Rights: Fair Housing ARS §41-1491 et seq.

Civil Rights: Public Accommodation and Services ARS §41-1492 et seq.

Arizona Commerce Authority ARS §41-1501 et seq.

Arizona Department of Public Safety §41-1701 et seq.

Arizona Department of Economic Security ARS §41-1951 et seq.

Arizona Criminal Justice Commission ARS §41-2401 et seq.

Arizona Human Rights Committee (on children, youth and families) ARS §41-3802

Arizona Housing Finance Authority ARS §41-3901 et seq.

Arizona Department of Housing ARS 41-3951 et seq.

Arizona Department Of Homeland Security ARS §41-4251 et seq.

Arizona Judicial Advocate (?)

Arizona Neighborhood Preservation And Investment Commission

(Terminated July 1, 2010, was ARS §41, Ch. 4.3)

Advocate For Private Property Rights

(Terminated July 1, 2010, was ARS §41, Ch. 8 Sec. 1.1)

 

County:

Board of Supervisors

Recorder’s Office

Attorney

Sheriff / Police

 

City / Town:

Mayor

City Council

Police