U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein responding to your messageFriday, January 30, 2009 8:38 AM
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Dear Ms. Creson:
Thank you for contacting me regarding housing market reform and foreclosure prevention legislation. I recognize how important this issue is, and would like to share with you what Congress has done to help.
Like you, I am very concerned about the current economic downturn, which has been caused in part by the declining housing market. To address record-high foreclosure rates among American homeowners, on July 30, 2008, the President signed the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-289) into law. The cornerstone of this legislation is the creation of the HOPE for Homeowners Program, which gives the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) authority to refinance mortgages in certain cases where banks voluntarily provide loan modifications. While I have been disappointed by the program's effectiveness to date, I am hopeful that proposed reforms to the program will allow it to help more homeowners going forward. To inquire about participation in this program, please contact the FHA directly at 1-800-CALL-FHA.
I am pleased that legislation I introduced, along with Senator Mel Martinez (R-FL), known as the "S.A.F.E. Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008" is included in the bill. This important legislation will require all mortgage brokers and lenders to meet minimum national licensing standards in an effort to curb abusive lending.
As you may know, I supported the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-343) to help ease the flow of credit and stabilize financial markets. President Obama has pledged to use $50 to $100 billion of the second tranche of rescue funds to develop new programs designed to prevent foreclosures and stabilize the housing market. I am confident that the President will fulfill this promise to help American homeowners. However, the use of these funds continues to be under fluid negotiations, and I will monitor the President's progress toward achieving this critical goal.
Additionally, I have introduced legislation known as the "Systematic Foreclosure Prevention and Mortgage Modification Act" (S. 73), which would implement a program developed by Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Chairman Sheila Bair that has been helpful in modifying mortgages owned by IndyMac Bank. Specifically, the program would require that mortgages in cases where refinancing is more cost effective than foreclosure be modified to make monthly payments more affordable. The FDIC estimates that under this program approximately 1.5 million foreclosures may be avoided. I am hopeful that that this legislation will be passed swiftly to help distressed homeowners.
Please know that I will keep your comments and suggestions in mind should further legislation to address our country's housing crisis come before the Senate.
Once again, thank you for writing. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 224-3841. Best regards.
United States Senator
Further information about my position on issues of concern to California and the Nation are available at my website http://feinstein.senate.gov/public/. You can also receive electronic e-mail updates by subscribing to my e-mail list at http://feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=ENew
1. I have not seen HOPE actually assist any of these borrowers.
2. The government is bailing out the "lenders" but not the borrowers.
3. HOPE, modifications, etc.. all to pacify the public but no real results.
4. Short Sales are a joke.. Let the borrower deal with the agents and showings and buyers, turn the home over earlier than required by law, and as a final parting gift a 1099. - and please don't forget about the second, that in many cases (even when the 2nd accepted proceeds) the borrower will at some point, 2 months, 6 months, 2 years receive some friendly collection calls seeking to collect on the outstanding balance, that has been accruing interest this entire time.
5. Oh and modification agreements.. don't get me started.. read the wording, most start as "trial modifications" which drain the borrower out of their last funds, only to find themselves foreclosed on anyway. Oh, and don't miss the great reading, where the borrower waives their right to sue anyone, in anyway, for any claim in relation to the loan or modification.
The "Lenders" created this mess, the governing authorities allowed it to happen. Borrowers were victims when received the loans, and continue to be as the "deep pockets" portray an image of assistance while covering their vulnerable behinds.
THE SENATE IS COMING TO THE RESCUE OF HOMEOWNERS SEEKING RELEIF. BANKRUPTCY JUDGES ARE NOW GOING TO BE GIVEN THE CHANCE TO MODIFIY LOAN PAYMENTS AND EVEN REDUCE THE PRINCIPAL BALANCE FOR LOANS VIEWED OUT OF BUDGET AND PREDATORY.
THE SOLUTION THEREFORE APPEARS TO BE BANKRUPTCY AND JUDGES TAKING CONTROL OF THIS LATEST EDITION OF THE MORTGAGE MESS.