California Attorney General Kamala Harris said today she is "doubling down" on prosecutions of predatory lending and other cases of lender misconduct in the wake of the $26 billion mortgage settlement announced last week.
"We're just now starting to lace 'em up," the state's top law enforcement official told delegates during the state Democratic Party convention in San Diego.
Harris said she is expanding her mortage fraud task force to continue fighting for relief in what she called "a crime perpetrated against the middle class."
"California wasn't just the epicenter of the crash," she said of the housing crisis. "Let's call it what it is, the scene of the crime."
Harris said the settlement reached between banks, the Obama administration and 49 state attorneys general will provide Golden State home owners with $18 billion in relief, which she hailed as " 900 percent more than the crumbs they were putting on the table when we first entered the door."
"After more than a year of standing tough against the banks and standing alone when necessary, we have won a California commitment," she said.
California Democratic Party Chairman John Burton praised Harris' role in the settlement, saying "without this one person that deal wouldn't have happened because that deal would have been done in a back boardroom."
Harris, who was first elected to statewide office in 2010, received some of the loudest cheers and applause of the day and a standing ovation from delegates as she argued that California's ideas and dreams are "too big to fail."