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Inside Washington (01/16/2008)
* WASHINGTON (1/17/08)--At least 10 states are pushing mortgage reform legislation as the foreclosure crisis continues. They include California, Maine, Indiana, Utah, Illinois, Maryland, New Hampshire, West Virginia, New York and Kentucky (American Banker Jan. 16). California’s Assembly could pass three mortgage bills by February, and the state’s Senate Banking Committee was scheduled to question several major lenders on loan modifications Wednesday. The committee also was expected to approve a bill that would give borrowers the opportunity to work out loan problems with lenders before foreclosure, lengthening the notification period and assessing fines of $1,000 per day to lenders who do not maintain foreclosed homes. Maine’s legislature also has amended a predatory lending bill this month that the state passed last year. State action is necessary, said Kevin Stein, associate director at the California Reinvestment Coalition. He said that his organization receives daily complaints from agencies and borrowers who cannot successfully deal with loan servicers ... * WASHINGTON (1/17/08)--Third parties are not liable for fraud claims if investors did not rely on those parties’ statements, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday. The case involved Stoneridge Investment Partners, which claimed that Scientific Atlanta and Motorola Inc. inflated prices for Charter Communications cable boxes so that suppliers could use the extra money to buy advertising from Charter. Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) criticized the court’s decision, stating that the decision would protect “wrongdoers.” Conversely, Rich Whiting, executive director of the Financial Services Roundtable, supported the ruling, saying that its rejection would have triggered other allegations ... * WASHINGTON (1/17/08)--National Credit Union Administration Chairman JoAnn Johnson announced that the HOPE NOW hotline is featured on MyMoney.gov. The hotline gives homeowners access to Department of Housing and Urban Development-approved credit counselors ... * WASHINGTON (1/17/08)--Credit Union Development Educators (CUDE) volunteers will pack 15,000 meals on March 2 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Governmental Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C. as a part of “Stop Hunger Now.” The project is seeking donations to cover the cost of the meals. The program is presented by the National Credit Union Foundation with support from World Council of Credit Unions, CUNA and CUNA Mutual Group ...


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