The Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009 (HR 1106) was passed last Thursday by the U.S. House of Representatives with the yes vote of only one Mississippian, Bennie Thompson. While the Bill was not supported by our other three representatives, it is supported by CitiGroup, the largest mortgage lender in America.
This Act allows Bankruptcy Judges in limited cases to modify first mortgage loans down to the current value of the home, to change the terms of the note, and to adjust the interest rate so as to make the mortgage payment both affordable and sustainable. The Bill is supported by our President, Barack Obama.
Every day more families are losing their homes to foreclosure. The worse is yet to come for Mississippi. We won’t get to the end of the financial crisis until we solve the foreclosure problem. This Bill is the first step toward a solution.
Vacant homes lower the value of every property in Mississippi, creating venues for crime and imposing severe financial burdens on the cities and counties. The current foreclosure crisis has already erased more than $2.4 trillion dollars in home equity for all American homeowners, not just those in foreclosure. This is you and me. This is our money. This was our equity.
The Mortgage Bankers that received Billions of dollars in Federal taxpayer assistance are pulling out all stops to defeat this Bill in the Senate. It is ironic that they are using our tax dollars to defeat legislation that would benefit us.
I have been a consumer protection attorney in Jackson for 30 years and I have sued many mortgage companies and mortgage servicers. I can tell you that the only thing these money changers understand is “legal leverage.” We need this Bankruptcy Mortgage Modification Bill to give citizens the leverage to negotiate voluntary modifications without having to file for bankruptcy relief. This Bill will not impose any costs or fees on Mississippi Taxpayers but will make those pay that created this mess in the first place.
Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.