FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ICBA Statement on Federal Effort to Stabilize the Mortgage Market
Washington, D.C. (Dec. 6, 2007)—Camden Fine, president and CEO of the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), issued the following statement regarding the plan announced today by the federal government to offer relief to homeowners facing mortgage uncertainty:
"Today's agreement announced by the Bush Administration is an important step that will help homeowners facing unaffordable mortgage payments and potential foreclosure, as well as help the communities where they live and bring some measure of stability to the mortgage market. ICBA commends the administration for facilitating an agreement among the major mortgage market stakeholders. ICBA also thanks Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Chairman Sheila Bair and Office of Thrift Supervision Director John Reich for their continued advocacy for community banks and stable communities.
"While community banks did not generally make these subprime loans, they stand ready to help borrowers seeking mortgage solutions. Community banks are stable, common sense, highly capitalized and well-regulated lenders who ensure that the mortgage they make is appropriate to the financial situation of the borrower.
"The Bush Administration plan will help one segment of mortgage borrowers but others will also be affected when their mortgages reset. ICBA and its member community banks are taking action to help homeowners and first time homebuyers in communities throughout the nation. A starting point was ICBA National Community Bank Mortgage Week in November. During that time, in more than 1,000 community bank locations in nearly every state, current homeowners and prospective homebuyers visited their local community bank to discuss home financing options. The effort didn't stop with that one week, as community banks continue to work with consumers within their community every day as they always have.
"ICBA hopes any new efforts to deal with the current situation don't cause additional burden on community banks and their ability to help provide service to their customers."