Jenner & Block

Partner Thomas Perrelli Discusses Government’s Efforts at Mortgage Relief

Jenner & Block Partner Thomas J. Perrelli is quoted at length in an article that examines efforts of government prosecutors to take billions of dollars from banks and give it to consumers in the form of mortgage relief.  Mr. Perrelli helped negotiate the landmark National Mortgage Settlement (NMS) when he served as Associate Attorney General at the US Department of Justice; he is now monitor for a separate Citigroup Inc. settlement. 

Titled “Too Little, Too Late?” the article in Corporate Counsel explains that some practitioners have hailed the mortgage relief plans for their transparency while some critics have complained that the relief was too small and came too late to help people who lost their homes.  “Too little, too late? Not for the people who were helped,” Mr. Perrelli says, adding that the NMS had “an enormous impact on those lives.” 

Regarding the Citigroup monitorship, Mr. Perrelli says that it includes a focus on affordable rental housing because it’s needed now.  He also observes that some achievements can’t be measured in dollars and cents, citing the healthy “multiplier effect” that the settlements have on communities and in helping deteriorating neighborhoods.  “I am a big believer that it is better for everyone to work extremely hard to keep people in their homes.  Foreclosure has individual, neighborhood and societal effects with unseen costs as well,” he says.  He also says that he hopes researchers look beyond the banks themselves, at the economy, “and ask what other things could we have done as a society or in Congress.  Hopefully, we’ll come out of this with ‘here are some things that worked, and here are things that need to be adjusted.’ “