States Strengthen Response to Foreclosure Crisis, According to New Research from the Pew Center on the States
States are stepping up their response to the nation's housing crisis with new legislation and programs to help homeowners, limit high-cost lending and curb foreclosures, according to research released today by the Pew Center on the States. In April 2008, the Center released Defaulting on the Dream: States Respond to America's Foreclosure Crisis, the first-ever, comprehensive look at what all 50 states and the District of Columbia are doing to address the subprime mortgage fallout. Updated state fact sheets released today highlight actions taken by the states through October 2008 to try to mitigate the crisis.
“Homeowners and communities reeling from historically high rates of foreclosure need assistance,” said Susan Urahn, managing director of the Pew Center on the States. “States are taking steps in the right direction—but they can't go it alone. They need the federal government to do more to build on state efforts to help homeowners keep their homes and prevent more troubling loans from being made.”
States had taken the following actions between January and October 2008, according to the latest Pew research:
Limiting Predatory Lending
- Eight states passed legislation tightening high-cost loan regulations since April, bringing the total number of states with predatory lending regulations to 32.
- Washington was the only state to pass legislation that had no previous restrictions against predatory lending to pass legislation; the other seven states—Connecticut, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New York and Pennsylvania—strengthened existing laws.
- Six states—Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, New York and Washington—passed legislation requiring the lender to take into account the borrower's best interest when recommending a mortgage, such as verifying a borrower's ability to repay a loan. Today, 15 states have such laws.
- Sixteen states implemented homeowner counseling campaigns designed to keep families in their homes. Today, 40 states have counseling programs.
- Twenty-one states adopted foreclosure intervention laws: three states—California, Michigan and New Jersey—introduced loan modification programs; six states—California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan and Washington—created refinance programs; and 17 states enacted legislation against mortgage fraud or rescue scams. In all, 34 states now have foreclosure intervention laws.
- Nine states—California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia—have either instituted a moratorium on foreclosures or increased the number of days before a notice of default must be issued to a borrower, allowing homeowners more time to avoid foreclosure.
- Three states—Delaware, Florida and Texas—created foreclosure task forces to address specific challenges within their state borders. Now 17 states have such task forces.
“Several states, including, Illinois, Maryland and Ohio, have been aggressive in their efforts to help homeowners plagued by foreclosures,” said Kil Huh, a project director with the Pew Center on the States who led the research. “As the economic challenges from the housing crisis continue to play out in communities across the country, our research shows that states are looking to each other for a way out of this debacle.”
You can view a 50-state chart of reforms across the country and fact sheets highlighting the actions of each state through October 2008 can be found below. You can also download a document that contains all of the state fact sheets.
Pew is no longer active in this line of work, but for more information visit the Subprime Mortgages Project on PewHealth.org.