Good news highlights today

Good news is the highlight of the day at the statehouse today. Two press conferences, one about accountability, and the other about working together for Vermonters hard hit by tropical storm Irene gives us a positive focus for today.

First up was Vermont Attorney General William H. Sorrel announcing that Vermont joined a landmark $25 billion state-federal settlement with the nation's five largest mortgage servicers over forclosure abuses and unacceptable nationwide mortgage servicing practices. This settlement addresses future mortgage loan servicing practices, gives Vermont approximately $3.1 million for financial relief to Vermonters, and approximately $3.6 million to the state. The state funds may be used for housing-related or other purposes.

The settlement which all 50 states and the District of Columbia have joined, does not grant immunity from any crime, or from liability for other aspects of the mortgage crissis, including securities fraud. It will also leave homeowners and investors free to pursue individual and class action cases against the five servicers.

They are:
Bank of America
J.P. Morgan Chase
Citigroup
Wells Fargo
Residential Capitol (GMAC/Ally)

for more information go to www.foreclosuresettlement.com, www.HUD.gov, www.justice.gov

The next press conference was governor Shumlin announcing he signed into law the We Are Vermont Strong license plates, authorizing Vermonters to purchase the $25 plate and affix it on the front of their vehicle. Money from the sale will go to the Vermont Foodbank and the Vermont Disastor Relief fund to help people impacted by Tropical storm Irene.

My hope is that my former neighbors,friends and others all around our state who suffered loss are able to access this fund. Fema money can only go just so far to help with the losses it took a lifetime of struggle to attain.