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Op-ed: Bold action needed to hold big banks accountable

The following editorial by Iowa CCI Action Fund Director Hugh Espey appeared in the 2/17/2012 Des Moines Register: Fourteen months ago, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement members and our allies from National People’s Action and the New Bottom Line campaign met with Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller in Des Moines to discuss the national foreclosure investigation that he was leading. Miller vowed to pursue a fundamental transformation of the mortgage servicing industry. He spoke like a people’s champion, like someone who would “knock it out of the ballpark” and bring the banks to justice. But after he announced the details of his settlement with the banks last week, we felt Miller had struck out. A few reasons why: 11 million homeowners owe roughly $700 billion more on their mortgages than their homes are worth. Miller’s settlement carves out just $17 billion in principal relief for these homeowners. At best, this will reach one-tenth of them. Homeowners who were victims...

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