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Archive for January 27th, 2011

Kirk named to Committees on Appropriations, Banking, Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP), and Aging

Posted by Admin On January - 27 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS


Kirk: “These Senate Committee assignments line up perfectly with an economic growth agenda for Illinois.”
 


Washington, DC —  U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) announced he has been appointed to four U.S. Senate committees that deal with issues ranging from federal expenditures to the elderly.

“These Senate Committee assignments line up well with an economic agenda for Illinois,” Kirk said.  “As a member of the Appropriations Committee, I will fight to reduce the size and spending of the federal government.  My position on Banking will provide Illinois a stronger voice in expanding jobs in the financial centers of our state, while the Health and Education Committee could help repeal and replace the heath care law while making our students ready to win against competitors from Asia and Europe.  On the Committee on Aging, I will be able to advocate on behalf of our 1.6 million Illinois seniors.” 

Appropriations:  One of the most powerful committees in the U.S. Congress, the Appropriations Committee has authority over all discretionary expenditures made by the federal government. Senator Kirk will be an advocate for ending earmark spending and cutting overall spending.   

 
Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs:  The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs plays a major role in crafting legislation on banks, credit unions, and credit cards.  Senator Kirk will be a strong avocate for expanding small business employement, especially through improved access to credit.  Illinois is one of the nation’s largest hubs of commercial banking with approximately 437 state-chartered commercial banks with assets in excess of $200 billion.   

Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions (HELP):  This Committee has jurisdiction over a wide range of concerns, including health care, education, employment, and retirement policies.  Senator Kirk will set a priority on repealing/replacing the health care law as well as finding ways to boost education performance.  Illinois has 500,500 residents employed in the health care sector, 143 hospitals, 24,300 active patient-care physicians and 126,000 licensed registered nurses.    

Special Committee on Aging:  With the Baby Boom population now hitting retirement age, the Special Committee on Aging studies issues, conducts oversight and investigates reports of fraud and abuse.  The Committee also reviews Medicare’s performance, pension coverage and employment opportunities for older Americans.  It also has conducted oversight of major programs such as Social Security.  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates more than 1.5 million Illinois residents—or 12 percent of the state’s population—are over the age of 65. By  2020, the agency estimates the over-65 population will grow to 31 percent of the state’s population.   

Attorney General Madigan: New Gold Standard for home loans must hold banks accountable to homeowners and investors

Posted by Admin On January - 27 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Chicago, IL – Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan today sent a letter to federal financial regulators, urging them to include a critical step in an upcoming rulemaking process that will establish safety standards for residential mortgage loans sold on Wall Street in the aftermath of the mortgage meltdown.

 

Attorney General Madigan’s letter to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, U.S. Treasury and other federal financial regulators was also signed by her counterparts in 10other states.  Madigan calls on the regulators to demand tighter mortgage servicing standards as they implement provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The Act was passed by Congress last year to prevent risky home loans from being bundled and sold to investors – a leading cause of the housing market’s crash in 2008.

The Act requires banks and lenders to maintain at least a 5 percent ownership interest in a home loan unless it meets a high safety standard. This requirement is designed to ensure banks and lenders make safe, high quality loans (and avoid the risky loans that led to the housing crisis) because they have a financial interest in the loans or, in other words, because they have “skin in the game.” Under the Act, there is an exception to the requirement that banks and lenders have this 5 percent ownership interest in a home loan: If a mortgage loan is considered a safe investment and deemed a “qualified residential mortgage,” the bank or lender does not have to keep an ownership interest in it. In other words, banks and lenders do not need to have a financial stake in mortgages that meet a “gold standard” for safe investments.

Federal regulators are now writing rules to implement the Act. The rules will define the kind of mortgages that meet the gold standard and are considered to be “qualified residential mortgages.”   

In the letter to the regulators, Madigan and the attorneys general are asking that standards for servicing a loan – the act of managing homeowners’ payments for the life of the loan – be included in the rules defining when a loan meets the “qualified residential mortgage” safety standard and could be exempted from the ownership stake. 

“Federal regulators are in the process of setting the gold standard for home loans. If a loan meets that standard, banks and lenders won’t have to keep any skin in the game for that loan,” Attorney General Madigan said. “Regulators must ensure that banks and lenders aren’t allowed to again create risky products then sell them off as safe investments without any consequences. By requiring rigorous underwriting and servicing standards, regulators can protect both the homeowner and the investor.” 

Madigan said including servicing standards in defining what loans are deemed qualified residential mortgages will give potential investors a better idea of how a loan will perform down the road. How a loan is serviced over its lifetime, and a servicer’s willingness to help a struggling homeowner, go hand-in-hand with a homeowner’s ability to stay in their home – an important factor for homeowners but also for mortgage investors who suffer substantial losses when homes enter foreclosure.

Signing on to Attorney General Madigan’s letter today were attorneys general from Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maryland, North Carolina, Tennessee and Vermont.

Attorney General Madigan has been at the forefront of protecting Illinois homeowners during the mortgage foreclosure crisis and holding Wall Street banks and mortgage lenders accountable. Madigan is currently serving on the executive committee in the ongoing 50-state investigation into the nation’s largest mortgage servicers for alleged widespread abuses in the foreclosure process.

In 2008, the Attorney General led a nationwide $8.7 billion settlement with Countrywide over its predatory lending practices. Madigan has also filed suit against both Wells Fargo and Countrywide alleging widespread discrimination against African American and Latino borrowers, which caused them to pay disproportionately more for their mortgages than other borrowers.

Madigan urged homeowners to visit her website, www.IllinoisAttorneyGeneral.gov, for resources available to assist homeowners in crisis. Included on the site is her Illinois Mortgage Lending Guide, a resource manual containing step-by-step instructions for those struggling to make their loan payments and a list of HUD-certified counseling agencies that offer default counseling services. Homeowners who do not have easy access to the Internet should call the Attorney General’s Homeowner Helpline at 1-866-544-7151 to receive the guide by mail.

Jesse White and the Chicago Cubs unveil new permanent Cubs License Plate

Posted by Admin On January - 27 - 2011 ADD COMMENTS

Money Raised From the License Plates to Support Public Schools

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White and the Chicago Cubs unveiled the new Chicago Cubs permanent Illinois license plate.

The Cubbie Blue license plate, which features the Cubs logo, was on display during a press conference at Wrigley Field.  Chicago Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts and Chicago Cubs Hall of Famer Ernie Banks were on hand for the unveiling.

“For many years I played in the wonderful Chicago Cubs organization as a center fielder,” White said.  “I feel a special bond and history with the team.  I am not alone.  The Chicago Cubs are a legendary franchise and boast of diehard fans throughout the country who will be excited to show their team spirit and support education with these plates.”

Twenty-five dollars from each license plate goes to the Professional Sports Teams Education Fund and is earmarked for the Common School Fund which supports public schools throughout the state of Illinois.

Public Act 095-0331, enacted in 2002, allows for Illinois sports teams to have license plates, designated as Professional Sports Teams license plates. The Chicago Cubs are the second sports team in the state to take advantage of the law.

“We are thrilled to help the state of Illinois in its effort to raise funds for public education and to give Cubs fans the chance to display their loyalty on an official Illinois license plate,” said Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts. “We thank Secretary White for his efforts in making this possible and hope all Cubs fans will show their loyalty by reserving their plate today.”

Beginning today the public can preorder the license plates by visiting www.cyberdriveillinois.com.  Fans can order random number, personalized or vanity license plates. Those plates will be sent out on March 1st.

The cost to purchase a random number Cubs plates for a currently titled vehicle with valid Illinois registration is $69.

Pricing varies for vanity and personalized license plates.

Fans who attend the Chicago Auto Show beginning on February 10th at McCormick Place will be able to purchase and walk away with a random number Cubs plate.  The Secretary of State’s mobile unit will also be able to register people for personalized and vanity license plates at the show.

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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