Wis. Bankers Association: State bankers offer support for recommendations in special taskforce report

For more information, contact Jason Busch

608-441-1237 or [email protected]

On Wednesday, September 9, Assembly Speaker Mike Sheridan (D-Janesville) shared the findings of the Speaker’s Taskforce On Preventing (S.T.O.P.) Home Foreclosures, formed to address Wisconsin’s mortgage foreclosure crisis and minimize its effect on Wisconsin families and communities.

The Wisconsin Bankers Association (WBA) thanks Speaker Sheridan, Majority Leader Tom Nelson (D-Kaukauna) and Rep. Leon Young (D-Milwaukee) for their leadership on this critical issue facing the residents of Wisconsin. Wisconsin’s banking industry was glad to be part of the effort and be able to provide input.

WBA supports the recommendations of the task force and believes Wisconsin should continue to take a close look at the root causes of Wisconsin’s foreclosures. One area that could achieve greater attention is the area of mortgage brokers. According to President Obama, 94 percent of the sub-prime mortgages were originated by mortgage brokers. Mortgage brokers should be held to bank-like standards when it comes to regulation and reporting requirements.

The banking industry continues to work hand-in-hand with customers and federal regulators to keep people in their homes whenever possible. As was noted in the task force hearings, foreclosures have distinct fact patterns in different parts of the state. The resolution of these may require different tools from the state and federal government. The banking industry recognizes that best way to solve this crisis is to support Wisconsin’s economy and keep promoting economic development.

During his address Sheridan outlined the legislative recommendations of the special taskforce alongside members of the group, which includes Democratic and Republican legislators, representatives from the banking and lending industry and community advocates.

The S.T.O.P. Home Foreclosures report identifies innovative solutions, highlights best practices and makes legislative recommendations regarding foreclosure in Wisconsin, ideas which will be acted on in this legislative session. Through statewide meetings in Green Bay, Eau Claire, Milwaukee and Baraboo, the taskforce also gathered public input for its report.

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The Wisconsin Bankers Association is the state’s largest financial industry trade association, representing 300 commercial banks and savings institutions, their nearly 2,300 branch offices and 28,000 employees.