Senator Turner Statement On Budget Hearing On Dept. Of Banking And Insurance

TRENTON – Senator Shirley K. Turner, D-Mercer, a member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and author of new legislation aimed at combating predatory lending in New Jersey, issued the following statement regarding today’s hearing on the FY 2009 Budget of the State Department of Banking and Insurance:

“While education is most often the great equalizer in our society, when it comes to the subprime mortgage crisis, it’s simply not enough. While information is critical in making sure that families don’t fall for subprime ARMs (adjustable rate mortgages) in the future, for those families already facing foreclosures, more direct action is desperately needed.

“As a state, New Jersey needs to be more proactive in its efforts to provide refinancing opportunities for those who have already been put in severe financial distress by predatory ARMs and are facing a foreclosure on their homes in the very near future. Everything possible must be done to help these families stay in their homes and get their mortgage payments under control.

“Additionally, there certainly needs to be more done to regulate lenders and weed out those who may use predatory practices to push unaffordable mortgages on New Jersey’s working families. The State needs to be the first line of defense in preventing another foreclosure crisis in the future.”