(bw) Sacramento, CA — California State Attorney General Kamala Harris pulled out of the “national settlement talks with the banking industry concerning unlawful mortgage and foreclosure practices,” she wrote on a letter to U.S. Attorney General Thomas Perrelli and Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller.
“It became clear to me that California was being asked for a broader release of claims than we can accept and to excuse conduct that has not been adequately investigated,” said Harris in a phone press interview on Monday, October 3rd
During the last quarter of 2010, individual States filed lawsuits against five large banks including J.P. Morgan, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Ally Financial which resulted in a 50-state class action lawsuit by a coalition formed by its respectful Attorney Generals.
“We have the most homes and most home borrowers in default,” wrote Harris. California ranks among the highest foreclosed states and in the state she listed Stockton to be the third with the most foreclosures.
“We meet regularly with California’s State Attorney General,” said Luis Sanchez, Stockton Office Manager at NeighborWorks® Sacramento Region, “I understand that she reviewed all options and she is opting to go for the one that best serves Californian.”
However, not everyone agrees with Harris’ decision, “if the State of California said they were joining the other 49 States, the State should follow through,” explained Al Espinor, Jr. Realtor at Century 21 M&M and Associates, “it’s not right for the State to say —‘this is not working for me so I’m out’,” added Espinor.
“Minorities have been hit the hardest”, the Attorney General explained, “people think they don’t have to speak the truth to these communities in a way that is understandable.”
Therefore, she believes that California will be better if the State proceeds alone. “I began California’s independent work in this respect by establishing a Mortgage Fraud Strike Force,” Harris explained that she is moving forward with a three part plan, “a thorough investigation, community education, and appropriate litigation for achieving accountability for misconduct.”
She encouraged the community to learn more about their options by visiting http://www.hud.gov and you may find other recommendations on the State of California’s Attorney General’s Website at http://ag.ca.gov/loanmod.