The California Reinvestment Coalition and the Greenlining Institute today sent an urgent letter to California Attorney General Jerry Brown urging him to take immediate action against Countrywide Financial/Bank of America. The community groups are asking Brown to secure a foreclosure moratorium on mortgages that fit the profile of the deceptive loans and practices cited in his recent complaint against Countrywide Financial.

As many as 900,000 Californians will face foreclosure in the next two and a half years. Due to Countrywide’s dominance of the subprime market, 200,000 or more of these foreclosures could occur from Countrywide mortgages alone, unless the Attorney General acts swiftly.

The enclosed letter requests that the Attorney General – who filed a broad-based and well-researched complaint against Countrywide and its senior executives alleging deceptive patterns and practices – seek an immediate preliminary injunction barring Countrywide/Bank of America from foreclosing on any mortgage that fits the profile of the practices and products cited in his complaint.
   
The groups’ request of Brown is consistent with Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley’s success in reaching a foreclosure moratorium agreement with California-based WMD Capital Markets – the company that holds structurally unfair loans originated by the notorious subprime lender Fremont Investment & Loan. Coakley was also successful in securing a preliminary injunction restricting foreclosures from the company.

In seeking a preliminary injunction against Countrywide, consumer groups are asking the attorney general to require Countrywide/Bank of America to send notices to any borrowers who face foreclosure, advising them of the attorney general’s action and informing them of the right to present their case of fraud before an independent special mediator appointed by the court.  Alternatively, Bank of America could voluntarily agree to these terms.

In a recent letter to Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis, California Assembly Speaker Karen Bass and Assembly member Ted Lieu also requested a voluntary foreclosure moratorium based on Attorney General Brown’s complaint. 

It is expected that there will be more than five million foreclosures nationwide by 2009.  This “tsunami wave” of foreclosures will drastically affect all mortgage borrowers, their neighborhoods and the state’s economy unless this crisis is quickly resolved.

Consumer groups have requested a meeting with Jerry Brown within five days and some have previously met with Jerry Brown on this issue.

For More Information Contact:
Alan Fisher
Executive Director, California Reinvestment Coalition
(415) 864-3980 office; (415) 710-1741 cell
afisher@calreinvest.org

Bob Gnaizda
General Counsel, Greenlining Institute
510-926-4006 office; 415-307-3320 cell
robertg@greenlining.org