AG Harris and Holly Petraeus Meet with Troops, Discuss California Homeowner Bill of Rights
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AG Harris and Holly Petraeus Meet with Troops, Discuss California Homeowner Bill of Rights

October 18, 2019


thank you um so we are here today to
listen and talk with and and dedicate ourselves to collaboration with our
military families on the issue that has been a very big issue for California
which is the foreclosure crisis that we’ve experienced dissolve you know
California was the hardest hit we are looking at at any point in time last
year seven of the top 10 at one point nine at the top 10 hardest hit cities in
the country and unfortunately we know through our investigations in our
travels our military families were not immune from this crisis and they were
not immune from the crisis in terms of how they were impacted by being
underwater and then being in the process of foreclosure for their homes but also
they were not immune to predatory lending practices and when we think
about the fact that it is our military families who are sacrificing so much in
service of us all it’s particularly outrageous so I am very honored to be
here with mrs. Petraeus I actually visited with her in Washington DC last
summer sat down with her and and really had an eye-opening conversation about
not only the impact of this issue on our service members and their families but
also what we can do what we can do through federal agencies such as the
computer Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and what we can do through the
California Department of Justice so we were here this morning meeting with
various Airmen and talking with them about the experience that they’ve had
and their dedication to training and protection and we will have a larger
meeting this afternoon with many more Airmen and talking with them and
answering their questions as it relates to this issue and of course any other
issue that comes up in particular around their need for protection as consumers
specifically about what we did in the office in my office
is after my meeting with mrs. Petraeus in Washington I came back to my office
and sent out a note to my entire staff over 4,000 people and invited those who
had military experience or had an interest in military families to join
together in a working group to discuss how we as an office could focus on these
families in California and do whatever is possible to increase our ability to
give them education so they can protect themselves and also make sure that they
are protected in terms of going after any predators as you know California has
the largest number of active duty and and veteran veterans in the state and so
it is a large population and one that should be protected and and taken
seriously when we listen to the stories about servicemen being targeted they are
vast and I know that mrs. Petraeus will talk about that in greater detail but it
is the issue of taking advantage of them knowing that they may be relocated and
and therefore have a sense of urgency about leaving their home it is about
predatory lending practices taking advantage of the fact that these
military families of course are very trusting it is they after all who are
fighting to protect the American dream so they believe in it and in that way
they have been the focus of unfortunate predatory practices in California two
counties in particular were probably two of the hardest hit counties in terms of
the foreclosure crisis and also have the greatest number of military families in
San Diego County we estimate that between 2008 and 2011 there were 75
thousand homes that were foreclosed upon and that foreclosure rate then is one in
16 homes in Solano County the estimated foreclosures between that same period of
time or 22,000 a foreclosure rate of one in twelve homes so these areas around
military bases have been significantly impacted and and therefore our focus for
us in terms of the national mortgage settlement
we were able of course to bring 18 billion dollars back to California but
in particular as it relates to our military families part of the settlement
negotiated would require as it relates to military families that the banks
would appoint a specially trained member of their operation to be a point of
contact for military families they will be required the banks to provide
restitution to those homeowners who are wrongfully foreclosed upon and for the
military families the banks will and are required to authorize short sales loan
modifications or other loss mitigation relief to service members regardless of
whether the service member is delinquent they also were required as part of the
national settlement to give special consideration for loan modification and
other relief to service members who are required to relocate to a new duty
station and of course they are required to comply with the Servicemembers Civil
Relief Act in terms of next steps as you know we are focused on the homeowner
Bill of Rights for California and there is right now a convening of the two
houses of the legislature to look at examine and hopefully ratify the reforms
that were part of the National settlement and in particular around the
issue of ending dual-track and requiring that there’d be a single point of
contact for these homeowners who are going through the foreclosure process
and again needless to say the bill the California homeowner Bill of Rights
something that will benefit all homeowners in California including our
military families so with that I it is my great honor to formally welcome and
introduce mrs. Petraeus she is an incredible fighter I’ve seen her in the
halls of the Capitol I have seen her advocacy she packs a big punch in in
doing everything that is necessary to make sure that our military families
have a voice at every table and that we ensure that they are protected and that
and that we honor them as we should as the people who are fighting for all of
our rights mrs. Petraeus well thank you general Harris it’s my
pleasure to be here in California and specifically today at Travis Air Force
Base really to spread the word about what I do in Washington about the agency
that i work for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the fact that it
has a special office for service members and their families called the office of
servicemember Affairs and my office has some specific tasks that I’m supposed to
be doing one is to see that military families get the education they need to
make better informed consumer decisions and we work with the Pentagon to do that
another is to monitor their complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection
Bureau and the response to those complaints and I do have people in my
office that keep a very close eye on that and then thirdly I am supposed to
be working with other federal and state agencies on consumer protection measures
for military personnel and their families and my visit to Travis today in
company with the Attorney General of California is a perfect example of that
federal-state partnership where together we can do I think a great deal to ensure
that our military families are not taken advantage of by those who would pick
their pockets they serve our country they volunteer to do that they know that
it may be at risk of their their lives and I think we all owe it to them to do
everything that we can to support them here at home and I’m very pleased and
proud to be able to be a voice for them at the federal level and to articulate
their issues in Washington and also to come out and talk to them in the States
and to find out what their issues are so I can take those back and hopefully act
on them so thank you all very much for coming out

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