Ariz. officials agree to delay transfer of mortgage settlement funds to state budget - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Money

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Logout|My Dashboard

Ariz. officials agree to delay transfer of mortgage settlement funds to state budget

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Related Stories

Posted: Saturday, June 16, 2012 6:40 pm

State officials agreed Tuesday to delay the transfer of $50 million of disputed mortgage settlement funds, at least for the time being.

Assistant Attorney General David Weinzweig made the offer during a hearing where challengers were hoping to get a court order blocking the move while its legality is being decided by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Mark Brain. Attorney Tim Hogan of the Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest, who represents those opposed to the transfer, readily agreed.

“You don’t want to rush the judge,” said Hogan, whose clients are people he believes would be helped by the funds.

“You want him to take his time on important questions like this,” Hogan said. “And so it’s reasonable to agree not to transfer the funds for a certain period of time to give the judge the opportunity to do that.”

The move sets the stage for a hearing in August on the merits of the issue.

Weinzweig told Brain he believes the transfer, ordered by state lawmakers earlier this year, is legal. Anyway, he said, Hogan’s clients have no legal standing to challenge what the Legislature did.

The fight surrounds a $26 billion nationwide settlement with five major lenders who were accused of mortgage fraud.

Arizona’s share is about $1.6 billion, with virtually all of that earmarked for direct aid to those who are “under water” on their mortgages — owing more than their property is worth — or have already been forced out of their homes.

But the deal also provided $97 million directly to the state Attorney General’s Office. The terms of that pact said the cash was supposed to help others with mortgage problems as well as investigate and prosecute fraud.

Lawmakers, however, seized on language which also said the money can be used to compensate the state for the effects of the lenders’ actions.

They said the result of the mortgage crisis was lower state revenues, giving them permission to take $50 million from the settlement to balance the budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Hogan’s suit is based on his contention that the settlement terms put the entire $97 million in trust and makes Attorney General Tom Horne, who was authorized by state law to sign the deal, responsible for ensuring the cash is properly spent.

Horne urged lawmakers not to take the funds. But once the budget deal was done, he went along and took the position that, regardless of whether the cash could have been better spent elsewhere, the transfer demand is legal.

Whatever Brain rules is likely to be appealed.

The challenge was brought on behalf of two people who would benefit by the state having more money to help homeowners avoid foreclosure. The lawsuit said both are currently “at risk” of losing their homes.

More about

  • Discuss

Great Hearts Academies to build $17M school in north Phoenix

Great Hearts Academies plans to build a $17 million campus in north Phoenix. The new campus at the northwest corner of 32nd Street and Hearn R…

Published: October 24, 2016 - 3:59 pm @…

Protest held in north Phoenix to oppose state-operated halfway house for convicted criminals

PHOENIX - Hundreds of people are voicing their displeasure with a halfway house for felons in north Phoenix. A peaceful protest – organized by…

Published: October 24, 2016 - 3:58 pm @…

The Biggest Character You May Have Missed in The Red Dead Redemption 2 Trailer

The great character reveal in last week’s Red Dead Redemption 2 trailer wasn’t one of the seven masked figures thundering toward us during the…

Published: October 24, 2016 - 3:31 pm @…

12 Female Entrepreneurs Who Inspire Us to Keep Going

The Achiever Think there aren’t enough women entrepreneurs doing incredible work in the world? You are right. We need far more — however, whil…

Published: October 24, 2016 - 3:10 pm @…

Candy Bar Milk Stout Debut, OHYA Sushi Opening, And More This Week in Metro Phoenix

Teresa Traverse A A McFate Brewing Company Releases Candy Bar Milk StoutToday Fall is here, and if you're craving a fall beer that isn't of th…

Published: October 24, 2016 - 2:40 pm @…

Owners of Boulders Resort purchase Marriott Tempe at the Buttes

The Phoenix Marriott Tempe at The Buttes has been sold. Kentucky-based Columbia Sussex Corporation, which also has holdings in the Boulders Re…

Published: October 24, 2016 - 2:39 pm @…

GOP’s Hispanic Outreach Could Blunt Trump Effect in Senate Races

If Donald Trump loses in November, one main factor will be the way he alienated Hispanic voters. But many of those same Hispanic voters could …

Published: October 24, 2016 - 2:31 pm @…

Suns forward P.J. Tucker appears tonight at Scottsdale charity event

In advance of the Coca-Cola & Fry’s Food Stores Home Opener, Suns forward P.J. Tucker will support local nonprofit Make-A-Wish Arizona dur…

Published: October 24, 2016 - 2:30 pm @…

20 Arizona Artists to Show Work During Art Basel in Miami Beach This December

Lynn Trimble A A Twenty artists with ties to Arizona will show works at Miami-area art fairs when Art Basel in Miami Beach takes place in Dece…

Published: October 24, 2016 - 2:31 pm @…

Avalanche Zen

Some folks sit on a cushion and count their breaths as though it were a matter of life and death.  Others, like 68-year-old Jerry Roberts, a r…

Published: October 24, 2016 - 2:31 pm @

Facebook on Facebook

Twitter on Twitter


Subscribe to via RSS

RSS Feeds


Most Popular

Online poll