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Rep. John Lewis on Mortgage Settlement

February 9, 2012
Press Release

WASHINGTON—Today President Barack Obama announced the results of a series of negotiations with America’s top five banks. He described a $25 billion settlement in an attempt to move beyond the housing crisis that sent this nation’s economy, international markets, and the economy of Atlanta in particular into a tailspin. Rep. John Lewis offered this statement after his initial evaluation of the settlement deal.

I want to applaud President Barack Obama’s continuous efforts to resolve the problems of our nation. Despite a great deal of pain and turmoil that has characterized this crisis, and despite the massive nature of the fraud and injustice that needed to be corrected, this president has remained focused on the task at hand. He is always trying to offer creative solutions to our problems and steady guidance in a very difficult time.

This $25 billion settlement is a major step. I am hopeful that it will provide the banks with some of the certainty they need to begin lending again, will rein in unlawful foreclosure, and offer underwater homeowners some relief.

It is very important, however, to continue to pursue the trail of deception which led to this downfall, bring the facts out in the open, and make institutions and individuals accountable for the mess they have made of American lives. Also there are still millions of Americans who are beyond the reach of this legislation and will see little return from this settlement. Many of them live in the Atlanta metro area. One bill cannot do it all. I look forward to the continued work of the Administration to bring individuals to justice and to cast the net as wide as possible to assist those who have lost all they have due to this crisis.

I also call upon my colleagues in the Congress as well as those in state and local government to respond to the desperate needs of the people of this nation who want to be restored to their families, their jobs, and their homes. The people of this nation must be our top priority. They are depending upon us to advocate on their behalf. They are our charge and our responsibility above all else. We must do all we can to help meet their needs in this dark our of our nation’s financial history.