Thursday, February 11, 2010

Really, Senator Durbin?

The back and forth continues:

Dear Woody:

Thank you for sharing your personal struggle to modify your mortgage through your bank. Too many families across the country are having a tough time staying in their homes, and our nation's banks are not doing nearly enough to help.

I am fighting to help Americans stay in their homes, but the banks are not meeting us in the middle. Congress supported the emergency aid package for banks, in part to revive the nation's credit markets. Yet lending and mortgage modification remain at record low levels.

The United States is working its way through the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. The mortgage crisis has placed millions of families at risk of foreclosure. Currently, 1 in 8 mortgages is in foreclosure, and more families face foreclosure as existing loans reset their interest rates.

The Obama Administration has taken some steps to encourage loan modifications, but the very banks that caused the financial crisis in the first place have been very resistant to implementing the loan modifications families need. The Home Affordable Mortgage Program (HAMP) and the Home Affordable Refinance Plan (HARP) have created incentives for banks to negotiate with individual homeowners, but many banks have dragged their feet.

I have cosponsored S. 1731, the Preserving Homes and Communities Act of 2009, introduced by Senator Reed of Rhode Island. This bill would provide targeted relief to qualified homeowners through loan modification and mortgage assistance programs. It also incentivizes states and local governments to create strong mediation programs so more families can stay in their homes. Loan modifications not only help families, they also stabilize communities protect them from greater financial losses.

Historically, home ownership has been a pillar of our economy and an integral part of the American dream. I introduced the Helping Families Save Their Homes in Bankruptcy Act (S. 61), which would have allowed bankruptcy judges to modify the terms of mortgage loans on a principal residence for homeowners who meet strict income and expense criteria. This step is already allowed for mortgages on vacation homes and family farms and could have helped 600,000 families keep their homes. Unfortunately, because of strenuous opposition from the banking lobby and its allies in the Senate, my amendment was not successful.

Your voice is a valuable part of this discussion. I will continue to keep your family's situation in mind as Congress responds to the economic challenges facing American families.

Thank you again for your message. Please feel free to keep in touch.

Talk about stating the obvious.

While it's admirable that Senator Durbin introduced legislation to help people save their homes, his response did not answer my initial questions.

Why wasn't the HAMP legislation written to consider unemployment?

I said it before and I'll say it again---HAMP legislation was poorly written. It merely serve as a smoke screen by the government to appear as if they're helping the public.

You're screwed if you're laid off AND you have equity in your home.

Just give me a coke and a smile and tell me to shut the eff up.

That would be more effective than pretending to help.

Was it wrong of me to expect more of Senator Durbin than robotic responses?

1 comment:

kwintessential said...

Slightly off topic, but what about the idea of eliminating the office of Lt Governor?