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Richard H. Neiman, Superintendent of Banks, Testifies Before U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee Hearing on “Tarp Accountability and Oversight: Achieving Transparency”
Testimony Focuses on Content of Most Recent Congressional Oversight Panel Report, “The Foreclosure Crisis: Working Towards a Solution;” Calls on Congress to Adopt Mandatory Reporting Requirements

March 11, 2009

New York, NY: The New York State Banking Department today announced that the Superintendent of Banks and Congressional Oversight Panel member, Richard H. Neiman, testified before the Congressional Joint Economic Committee in Washington, D.C.

Superintendent Neiman’s testimony focused on the content of the Panel’s most recent report, “The Foreclosure Crisis:  Working Towards a Solution,” which offers a roadmap for successful foreclosure prevention going forward and identifies the numerous impediments that need to be overcome in developing sustainable solutions.  Those impediments include affordability of monthly payments, negative home equity, securitization pooling and servicing agreements, misaligned servicer incentives, inadequate servicer capacity to reach at-risk borrowers and handle the volume of modification cases, and prioritization of lien holders.

Mr. Neiman also called upon Congress to adopt mandatory reporting requirements for mortgage lenders and servicers. “Access to complete information on foreclosures and loans in default is unavailable and the reason is simple: there is no mortgage loan performance data reporting requirement for the industry,” according to Neiman. “That is why the Panel believes that Congress should create a national mortgage loan performance reporting requirement applicable to banking institutions and others who service mortgage loans, to provide a source of comprehensive intelligence about loan performance, loss mitigation efforts and foreclosure. Federal banking or housing regulators should be mandated to analyze such data and share the results with the public.”

Superintendent Neiman concluded, “We cannot solve the financial crisis without dealing with the root of the problem: the millions of American families who are at risk of losing their homes to foreclosure.”

The Superintendent’s full testimony is available on the Banking Department’s Web site at http://www.dfs.ny.gov/speeches/sp090311.htm.

About the Congressional Oversight Panel
The Congressional Oversight Panel was created to oversee the expenditure of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds authorized by Congress in the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (EESA) and to provide recommendations on regulatory reform. The Panel members are: Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Richard H. Neiman, Superintendent of Banks for the State of New York, Damon Silvers, Associate General Counsel of the AFL-CIO, former U.S. Senator John E. Sununu (R-N H) and Elizabeth Warren, Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. All the Panel’s reports, including the latest report, “The Foreclosure Crisis:  Working Towards a Solution,” can be found at http://cop.senate.gov/documents/cop-030609-report.pdf.

About the New York State Banking Department
The New York State Banking Department is the regulator for all state-chartered banking institutions, virtually all of the United States offices of international banking institutions, all of the State’s mortgage brokers, mortgage bankers, check cashers, money transmitters and budget planners. The aggregate assets of the depository institutions supervised by the Banking Department are more than $2.2 trillion.

In addition to regulating banking institutions, the Banking Department is active in informing and educating all New Yorkers on banking matters. To contact the Banking Department, please call 1-877-BANK-NYS or visit our Web site at www.banking.state.ny.us.

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