State AGs Develop Strategy for Predatory Lending Crisis

Press contact: James O’Neill 212-854-2650 Cell: 646-596-2935
[email protected]

September 12, 2007 (NEW YORK) – State attorneys general, responding to the subprime crisis, are moving collectively to develop a national strategy to help borrowers avoid foreclosure and lenders restructure troubled loans. A ten state Task Force, led by Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller and announced last week, is scheduling meetings with lending industry leaders. State attorneys general are also calling on the Fed for action to prevent further predatory lending.

James E. Tierney, director of the National State Attorneys General Program at Columbia Law School and the former attorney general of Maine, has been working to develop mortgage foreclosure strategies with attorneys general and their staffs. The Program has created web resources for consumers and the media, including links to fact sheets for consumers, scholarly articles about subprime lending and predatory lending, Iowa Attorney General Miller’s recent comments to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, analysis by Iowa Assistant Attorney General Patrick Madigan, and legislative proposals offered by attorneys general across the country.

``The subprime lending issue has put in danger the ability of millions of Americans to stay in their homes, disquieted investors and roiled markets worldwide,’’ Tierney said. ``State AGs are going to be a part of the solution to this complex national crisis. They are committed to enforcing the law in such a way as to protect victims of fraud, promote stability in the lending market as well as the American Dream of home ownership.’’

Tierney is available to speak with reporters about the attorneys general plan to address these issues. Live and taped interviews can be arranged weekdays in the Law School’s fiber optic transmission studio or anytime via email. Tierney can be reached directly at 207-837-1877 or [email protected].

James E. Tierney
is the director of the National State Attorneys General Program at Columbia Law School, where he has also taught as a Lecturer-in-Law since the fall of 2000. Tierney served as the attorney general of Maine from 1980 until 1990. He is currently a consultant to attorneys general and others.

The National State Attorneys General Program at Columbia Law School is a legal research, education and policy center that examines the legal and policy implications of the work of state attorneys general. Collaborating with attorneys general, academics and other members of the legal community, the Program develops and distributes legal information that state prosecutors can use to carry out their civil and criminal roles.

Columbia Law School, founded in 1858, stands at the forefront of legal education and of the law in a global society. Columbia Law School joins traditional strengths in international and comparative law, constitutional law, administrative law, business law and human rights law with pioneering work in the areas of intellectual property, digital technology, sexuality and gender, and criminal law.