DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — Congressman Ed Towns of Brooklyn, chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, reports that a field hearing held Monday at Brooklyn Borough Hall on mortgage servicing practices and the foreclosure crisis was successful.
Its focus was on how those in Brooklyn will be affected by the recent $26 billion mortgage settlement deal with five banks over fraudulent foreclosure practices.
He was joined by representatives Darrell Issa of California and Elijah Cummings of Maryland and other members of the House committee to hear NYS Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who has been selected to co-chair the Mortgage Task Force that will monitor the settlement.
Said Towns in a published statement, “Today’s hearing is about holding banks and mortgage servicers accountable and getting to the bottom of how we can help those who have been most severely impacted by this crisis. Brooklyn is at the epicenter of this foreclosure crisis, and has been one of the hardest hit areas in the country.
“The very sentiment and anger that was expressed today is why I brought the committee to Brooklyn, and will remain committed to getting answers from the banks.”
Towns notes that he has not only hired a dedicated staff person to oversee foreclosure cases but he has held and will continue to hold community meetings to inform constituents about the benefits of the Home Affordable Mortgage Program (HAMP), a Department of Treasury program designed to help underwater homeowners refinance their mortgages.
Additionally, Towns said he has commissioned a study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to document the magnitude of the foreclosure crisis in Brooklyn.