The Center for Responsible Lending reports, "Over the next several years, 8.1 million American families will lose their homes. Because of market declines, these struggling homeowners can neither refinance nor sell. Unless their mortgages are modified to align the loan amount with the value of the home, the foreclosure crisis will continue to get worse."
Visit this link to find 2009 foreclosure statistics for your state: Latest Foreclosure Numbers by State
Senator Richard Durbin and Representative John Conyers have introduced bills (S. 61 and H.R. 200, both named ("Helping Families Save Their Homes in Bankruptcy Act of 2009") to give homeowners access to the courts as a last resort before losing their homes. This option could save close to a million homes and—best of all—it wouldn't cost taxpayers a single dime." http://durbin.senate.gov/showRelease.cfm?releaseId=306368
Naturally, there is fierce opposition to this bill from the financial industry and many Republicans. Even President Obama is balking at publicly supporting the bill. Read CUNA's (Credit Unions) press release here: http://www.mddccua.org/FOCUS/FOCUS2009/focus01202009.htm
The following financial institutions are currently on record opposing this bill.
Commercial banks & bank holding companies
Mortgage bankers and brokers
American Bankers Association
Financial Services Roundtable
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Mortgage Bankers Association
Courtesy of Maplight: http://maplight.org/map/us/bill/79717/default
Here is a partial list of elected officials (decision makers) who have received large donations from the financial institutions listed above. http://maplight.org/map/us/interest/F1100/view/all another good resource for following the money, "Congressmen Hear from TARP Recipients Who Funded Their Campaigns"by Lindsay Renick Mayer, CAPITAL EYE, February 10, 2009.
It's time to reform bankruptcy laws that strip Americans of homeownership. Please contact your representatives in Congress to ask them to co-sponsor these important pieces of legislation.
Here's a sample letter to help you get started:
Representative Rick Larsen
U.S. House of Representatives
108 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515-0001
Dear Representative Larsen,
I am deeply concerned about the epidemic of home foreclosures that continues to devastate families, neighborhoods, and our entire economy.
Today an unreasonable rule prevents homeowners from even the possibility of saving their homes through the court system. This is an urgent request to stop foreclosures and stabilize the economy by allowing distressed homeowners, as a last resort, access to loan modifications through the courts. I strongly urge you to co-sponsor these important pieces of legislation:
The "Helping Families Save Their Homes in Bankruptcy Act of 2009" (S. 61/H.R. 200) was introduced in the Senate by Senator Dick Durbin, and in the House of Representatives, by House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers.
This legislation has the support of Citigroup, one of America's largest mortgage lenders.
It is morally wrong that court-supervised loan modifications are available for owners of big corporations, commercial real estate, and even families with vacation properties, but are denied to families on the verge of losing their only home. The proposed legislation would not excuse families from paying their mortgage. It would simply give judges the authority to modify unaffordable loans when homeowners have exhausted other options for avoiding foreclosure.
Allowing distressed homeowners access to the court system will help protect the property values of ALL homeowners, and it will not cost American tax payers a single dime!
I join with other concerned Americans in asking you to include this legislation as an amendment to the next piece of funding legislation brought before the Congress. Please stand up for the families in our state and across the country by using your voice and your vote to give your full support to this legislation.
Thank you for your thoughtful consideration of my request.
Not a letter writer?
Follow this link to find your representatives' phone numbers,
For Assistance, contact the WA State Department of Financial Institutions or visit the links below. http://www.dfi.wa.gov/consumers/education/foreclosure/prevent_foreclosure.htm
Rescue Plan for Housing in the WorksNew York Times, 02/13/09
Foreclosures Ease as Lenders Await U.S. Plan to Aid BorrowersWall Street Journal, 02/12/09
U.S. Grasps for a Workable Approach to Foreclosure CrisisWall Street Journal , 02/11/09
Study Finds Bias in Twin Cities MortgagesMinneapolis Star Tribune, 02/11/09
Foreclosure Protests at D.C. Offices Reflect TrendWashington Post, 02/11/09
Sub-Prime Mortgage Study: Crisis Has Cost Minorities Up to $213 Billion
Congressional mailing addresses:
Senator Maria Cantwell
511 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-0001
Senator Patty Murray
173 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-0001
Or contact President Obama at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/