Helping Homeowners Avoid Foreclosure
I have shaped and help pass legislation to protect homeowners. In May 2009, I was proud to attend the signing ceremony at the White House for the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act (S. 896), legislation that will prevent many home foreclosures and strengthen the housing market. In expressing his thanks to those who have played key roles on this issue, President Obama praised Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank and me.
Also in May, the House passed the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act (H.R. 1728), which prevents predatory and irresponsible mortgage loan practices that resulted in the economic meltdown. The legislation requires mortgage lenders to follow basic principles of sound lending, responsibility, and consumer protection.
I have long been concerned about the mortgage servicing industry. Servicers have the power to modify loans; however, while loan modification rates have increased, it is clear that servicers must do more to keep families in their homes. This is why I introduced H.R. 3451, the Foreclosure Prevention and Sound Mortgage Servicing Act, to require loss mitigation and to reform the servicing industry. At the beginning of this Congress, I introduced H.R. 37, the Systematic Foreclosure Prevention and Mortgage Modification Act. This legislation, which provides incentive payments to servicers for modifying loans, passed the House and serves as the foundation for the Administration’s Making Home Affordable program.
I have also interceded directly on behalf on my constituents with their mortgage servicers, often spending hours on hold to get a loan modification for them.
In addition, I have fought against the scammers and so-called “foreclosure consultants” who are charging high fees to desperate homeowners, with the false promise that they can prevent a foreclosure or obtain a loan modification.
Additionally, I have advocated on behalf of homebuyers for a strong Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Legislation I wrote to reform and expand FHA was included in the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. In addition, I wrote legislation, included in the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009, preventing the very subprime lenders who created the mortgage mess from participating in FHA’s programs.
More on Helping Homeowners Avoid Foreclosure
Rep. Maxine Waters sent the letter below to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Acting Director Edward DeMarco on implementation of the Hardest Hit Fund (HHF) and the latest version of the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP 2.0). The letter is sent in response to a recent report by the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which found that HHF, which was funded at $7.6 billion, has only spent 3 percent of its funding.
Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters along with Rushmore Cervantes, Interim General Manager, Los Angeles Housing Department; Timothy Watkins, CEO, Watts Labor Community Action Committee; and Charles Quarles, President, Bedford Group joined Shaun Donovan, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) during his visit to Los Angeles for a tour of several properties that have benefited from the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) in South Los Angeles. Congresswoman Waters statement about Secretary Donovan's visit is below:
Today, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and Attorney General Eric Holder announced an historic settlement between 49 state attorneys general and 5 major mortgage servicers regarding allegations of servicing and foreclosure fraud.
Today marks an important milestone in a struggle many of us have been engaged in for the last 5 years: the fight to bring justice to millions of American homeowners and accountability to our nation's mortgage servicers.
Today, Rep. Waters released the following statement in response to President Obama's plan to help responsible homeowners and heal the housing mark.
Today, Rep. Waters introduced H.R. 3841, the Principal Reduction Act of 2012, which would require Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to reduce principal on loans that they own or guarantee. She was joined by eight Members of Congress in support of this much needed legislation to stabilize the housing market.
On November 18, 2011, Rep. Maxine Waters (CA-35) introduced a key component of President Obama's American Jobs Act—Project Rebuild. She was joined by 17 other Democratic Members as sponsors of H.R. 3502, the "Project Rebuild Act of 2011." Project Rebuild builds upon the success of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), which Rep. Waters authored in 2008 and for which she has secured $7 billion in funding.
Below is an the opinion piece by Congresswoman Waters that was posted to her Huffington Post blog page. She authored this piece in response to the recent LA Times op-ed on multi-state settlement:
California Deserves a Better Deal
4 million American homeowners who were foreclosed upon in 2009 and 2010 will receive notices
By Associated Press, Updated: Tuesday, November 1, 2:51 PM
WASHINGTON — About 4 million homeowners who may have been improperly foreclosed upon in 2009 and 2010 are getting an opportunity to have their cases reviewed. Whether they will be reimbursed is up to the same lenders who are accused of moving too swiftly to seize their homes.
Congresswoman Waters (CA), Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises, today led 15 of her colleagues in the House of Representatives, renewing her call for U.S. bank regulators to publicly release information regarding the steps that mortgage servicers are taking to prevent illegal foreclosure practices.