Bennet Votes to Help Keep Struggling Colorado Families From Losing Their Homes

Senate Approves The Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009 - Legislation Will Stem Tide of Home Foreclosures, Provide Relief to Struggling Homeowners and Hasten Housing Sector Recovery

Washington, DC - Michael Bennet, U.S. Senator for Colorado, today voted in favor of the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009, legislation that will help keep struggling Colorado families in their homes by providing more tools to homeowners and loan servicers to stem the tide of home foreclosures. The bill, S. 896, passed by a vote of 91 to 5.

"Thousands of Coloradans who are at risk of losing their homes need help right now," Bennet said. "This bill will help middle-class Colorado families stay in their homes. It takes real action to stem the tide of foreclosures, assist homeowners, and strengthen our housing sector. And it will help to promote loan modification and homeowner lending. We must work to rebuild our housing market and revitalize our communities - this bill is a step in the right direction."


Improve the HOPE for Homeowners Program: The HOPE for Homeowners Program was created by Congress to help those at risk of default and foreclosure, so that they could refinance their mortgages and stay in their homes. This bill lowers program participation fees, eases requirements for obtaining additional loans, focuses more on Middle Class homeowners and provides incentive payments to servicers and originators which participate.

Increase Investments for Foreclosure Prevention: S. 896 invests an additional $127.5 million for foreclosure prevention including counseling. It is critical that we make sure homeowners are aware of their rights and responsibilities. And this legislation includes homeowner education focused on informing consumers and exposing potential fraud. The legislation also puts more boots on the ground to help renegotiate terms and give homeowners more options.

Expand Assistance for Rural Homeowners: S. 896 makes President Obama's homeowner aid program easier for rural homeowners to access. Federal agencies are empowered to work with rural service providers to modify FHA loans and ensure that rural homeowners have the opportunity to refinance. In some cases, this can mean reducing interest rates, or reducing principal or stretching out the term of government-insured loans.

Stabilize Community Banks and Target Bad Lenders: S. 896 stabilizes community banks by extending the deposit insurance increase by four years; and increasing the borrowing authority of the FDIC and for credit unions also. This should result in an additional $75 billion in lending in our communities.