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
by Alan Fram
House Republicans pushed through legislation Tuesday to terminate an underachieving Obama administration program designed to reduce mortgage payments for homeowners in danger of losing their homes to foreclosure.
Most Democrats, while acknowledging that the Home Affordable Modification Program has fallen short of original goals, protested the vote to kill it. The White House, in a statement, said that if the bill ever reaches President Barack Obama's desk, his senior advisers would recommend he veto it. The vote was 252-170.
by Peter Schroeder
A coalition of 50 House Democrats are calling on the Obama administration to overhaul one of its key housing relief programs, as Republicans are pushing to eliminate it.
In a letter sent Monday to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, the lawmakers, led by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), say the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) has been "disappointing" and is in need of major improvements.
Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and the African American Members of the House Financial Services Committee (known as the FS 10) were recently honored by the Black Press of America and the National Newspaper Publishers Association Foundation (NNPAF) with the 2011 Political Leadership Award for their work during negotiations for the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. The Congresswoman and Congressman William Lacy Clay, Jr. accepted the award on behalf of the FS 10 at an event last week at a Newsmaker Dinner and Gala at the Omni Shoreham Hotel.
The House of Representatives voted today to end the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), which Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) created and which President George W. Bush signed into law three years ago under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA). Last week, House Republicans also voted to end the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Short Refinance Program and the Emergency Homeowners Relief Program (EHRP), the latter of which Congresswoman Waters worked to include in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.
Though their stated pledges since coming to power have been to 'cut the deficit' and 'create jobs,' House Republicans will soon take a series of votes to further solidify a radical agenda that does neither.
by Alan Fram
The House voted Friday to kill mortgage assistance for homeowners who have lost their jobs or become ill, as the two parties battled over how to balance frugality and compassion at a time of enormous budget deficits.
The mostly party-line 242-177 vote by the Republican-run House to abolish the Emergency Mortgage Relief Program may be as far as the legislation gets. The White House has threatened to veto the measure, and its prospects are shaky in the Democratic-controlled Senate.
By Pete Kasperowicz
House Republicans for the second day in a row on Friday voted to eliminate a federal mortgage program.
In a 242-177 vote, the House approved legislation rescinding $1 billion that was authorized last year for a Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program that helps unemployed people make their mortgage payments for up to 12 months. Eight Democrats voted with Republicans in support of the bill, and only two Republicans voted against it.
Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), a senior member of the Financial Services Committee, spoke out today against Republican attempts to terminate the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) and the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP). This was the second markup in as many weeks where Committee Republicans ended programs to help people stay in their homes and help communities weather the foreclosure crisis.
by Zach Carter
As bank executives push back against the terms of a foreclosure settlement with fees that may be as high as $20 billion, progressive legislators, federal regulators and public interest watchdogs argue that securing appropriate relief to wronged homeowners is a critical step for restoring business confidence and reinvigorating the housing market.
By Meredith Shiner