Quinney College of Law Professor Christopher Peterson gave the keynote address at the Annual Convention of the Utah Association of Counties on Thursday. Professor Peterson’s speech focused on the challenges elected county officials are facing from the national subprime home mortgage crisis.
Peterson discussed the causes and consequences of a growing tide of home foreclosure sweeping Utah and other states. “The national subprime foreclosure crisis has become so severe that it poses challenges, not just for Congress, but for all levels of government.”
The Utah Association of Counties (UAC) is a voluntary, state-wide organization operated by the 29 counties of Utah. The annual convention is an opportunity for county mayors, commissioners, recorders, treasurers, and other elected officials to work on improving county government. The UAC, which formed in 1924, is holding its 84th annual convention this week in St. George, Utah.
Professor Peterson urged Utah’s county officials to follow the lead of municipal governments in Cleveland, Ohio and Buffalo, New York where local government attorneys are spearheading efforts to help modify home mortgages and hold predatory financiers accountable for unethical practices.
“County leadership can also be especially effective in pressuring state legislatures, Congress, and financial institutions themselves to reform,” Peterson said. “It’s satisfying to see that the problems facing so many Utah home owners are on the radar screen of county officials. Now it’s time for Utah’s county leaders to step up to the plate on behalf of their constituents.”
Doug Perry, communications director of the Utah Association of Counties, believes Peterson’s discussion provided valuable insight into a timely topic: “The sub-prime mortgage crisis continues to impact the lives of countless individuals in America. County officials in Utah are about as close to the citizens as any government authority, so we felt that the counties needed some depth and perspective into this national issue. We were very fortunate to have found one of the leading experts in the crisis, Chris Peterson. Our post-conference surveys indicate that the county officials were very interested and engaged in Chris’ presentation. We hope and expect it gives them the detail they need when interfacing with the public on this and other related issues.”
For more information on the association and Peterson’s address, click here: http://www.uacnet.org/calendar/event.php?id=149