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.