2009-03-11 / Features

Crowley Applauds House OK Of 'Save Their Homes' Act

"Help is on the way for thousands of families in The Bronx and Queens..." "Help is on the way for thousands of families in The Bronx and Queens..." The Barack Obama presidential administration's plan to aid homeowners struggling to save their homes and stabilize the housing market will enable responsible homeowners in Queens and The Bronx to secure more affordable mortgages and keep their homes, Congressmember Joseph Crowley stated, following House passage of the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act.

Crowley (D- Queens/The Bronx) estimated that the bill will reduce foreclosures by 20 percent nationwide. It is now before the Senate for consideration.

"Help is on the way for thousands of families in The Bronx and Queens and throughout the nation who are struggling with their mortgages," Crowley declared.

A house foreclosure affects more than just the owner, the lawmaker explained. "It affects the entire neighborhood by deflating values of nearby homes by almost 9 percent," he pointed out.

Looking at the House's favorable action on the bill, he added: "Today we took an important step forward in our efforts to help millions of responsible families remain in their homes, reduce foreclosures 20 percent nationwide and keep our communities intact. Our nation's economic health depends on us putting our housing system back on track."

Crowley said the legislation to save homes from foreclosure comprehensively addresses many of the needs that struggling families are facing in the housing crisis.

Upon final enactment, he said, the legislation will get more families into affordable mortgages, protect lenders from lawsuits for reasonable loan modifications, fix the Federal Housing Administration's "Hope for Homeowners" program, reduce current fees that have discouraged lenders from voluntarily participating and offer new incentives for lenders to negotiate loan modifications with borrowers at risk of foreclosure.

Crowley, a member of the powerful Committee on Ways & Means noted that the legislation had broad support from many advocates, including Citigroup, AARP, the Center for Responsible Lending, Consumers Union, attorneys general from 21 states, the Leadership Conference On Civil Rights, the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions and the National Fair Housing Alliance.—John Toscano

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