Legislation Will Help Keep Colorado Families in Their Homes and Hasten Housing Sector Recovery
Washington, DC - Michael Bennet, U.S. Senator for Colorado, today joined President Obama and congressional leaders at a ceremony at the White House to sign the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act into law. The legislation, which received overwhelming support in Congress, will help to keep Colorado families in their homes and strengthen the housing market by providing more tools to homeowners and loan servicers to stem the tide of home foreclosures.
"Things are already too tough for the thousands of hardworking Coloradans who are losing their jobs and health care in record numbers - the last thing they or their families need is to lose their homes as well," said Bennet. "This bill sets the stage for lenders and homeowners to work together and help hardworking families who are already struggling to pay their bills or put their kids through college stay in their homes and out of foreclosure. It's a good step that will help place our housing market on a steadier footing and hasten our economic recovery."
PROVISIONS OF S. 896, THE HELPING FAMILIES SAVE THEIR HOMES ACT OF 2009
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.