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State Attorney General To Co-Chair New Mortgage Crisis Unit

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During his State of the Union address Tuesday, President Barack Obama announced the formation of a new mortgage crisis unit that will be co-chaired by State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has taken a hard line on the nation's mortgage crisis. He investigated Bank of America's mortgage practices, ultimately aiming to track down those responsible for the nation's crippling foreclosure crisis, and now he's being tapped by President Barack Obama to work on the issue some more.

"And tonight, I am asking my attorney general to create a special unit of federal prosecutors and leading state attorneys general to expand our investigations into the abusive lending and packaging of risky mortgages that led to the housing crisis,” said Obama during his State of the Union address Tuesday. “This new unit will hold accountable those who broke the law, speed assistance to homeowners, and help turn the page on an era of recklessness that hurt so many Americans."

During his speech, Obama announced that he is establishing a new mortgage crisis unit which will be co-chaired by Schneiderman.

Before this, the attorney general had been at odds with Washington over the president's response to the nation's housing crisis. He criticized the Obama administration's intent to settle with major banks over mortgage fraud.

"The mortgage-backed securities crisis that caused the markets to crash was not something that happened by an earthquake or a flood. This was created by human conduct," said Schneiderman on NY1’s “Inside City Hall” back on July 11, 2011.

The appointment thrusts Schneiderman onto the national stage, one that has been monopolized by Governor Andrew Cuomo as of late.

In response to the president's address, Schneiderman issued the following statement: "I would like to thank President Obama for his leadership in the creation of a coordinated investigation that marshals state and federal resources to bring justice for the victims of the misconduct that caused the mortgage crisis."

Schneiderman had the opportunity to thank the administration in person. He was a guest of the first lady on Tuesday.

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