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 ZIBEL
House lawmakers scolded federal regulators Thursday, expressing frustration that they failed to investigate problems with foreclosure documents until the issue attracted widespread attention this fall.
Both Democrats and Republicans criticized a panel of regulators at a House subcommittee hearing, especially after officials said their agencies hadn't been paying attention to flaws in foreclosure paperwork until recently.
By Peter Schroeder
Both Republicans and Democrats pressed housing regulators on their inability to combat or prevent the mishandling of mortgage documentation amid foreclosure proceedings during a House Financial Services subcommittee hearing on Thursday.
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) pressed housing regulators on the lack of monetary penalties assessed against mortgage servicers that did not meet documentation standards. Waters chairs the subcommittee on housing and community affairs, which held the hearing.
By Ronald D. Orol
By DAVID STREITFELD and NELSON D. SCHWARTZ
Changing the face of foreclosure in America will take some time, several state attorneys general said Wednesday, cautioning that an agreement with major lenders over revamped foreclosure practices was not imminent.
By DAMIAN PALETTA And DAVID WESSEL
A four-month-long Obama administration probe into five of the country's largest mortgage servicers has discovered "a significant variation" among their operations, with some servicers "significantly worse than others" in how they handle home loans, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan said in an interview.
Mr. Donovan wouldn't identify which companies were laggards in the HUD review, but he said the administration plans to make the results of its investigation public in the next few weeks.
By ALAN ZIBEL, AP Real Estate Writer
Big lenders are trying to move past the foreclosure-document mess, saying they're now confident their paperwork is accurate.
Yet they face so much organized resistance that they can't just snap up their briefcases, declare the crisis over and move on.
by Joanne Allen
A House of Representatives subcommittee on housing issues will hold a hearing on home foreclosures when lawmakers return from recess after the November elections, the panel announced on Monday.
The hearing is scheduled for Thursday, November 18 at 10:00 a.m. with testimony from industry representatives, government regulators and watchdog groups, the House Subcommittee on Housing and Communality Opportunity said in a statement.