Cutting Foreclosure Help Would Leave Millions at Risk and Jeopardize Economic Recovery


Center for Responsible Lending
March 2, 2011

Even as 50,000 new foreclosures start every week, the House Financial Services Committee votes tomorrow on four bills to dismantle programs aimed at helping homeowners. Industry figures show that more households than ever are in some stage of foreclosure, with over five million mortgage holders now at risk of losing their homes. Avoiding unnecessary foreclosures and encouraging loan modifications will be key to economic recovery, as the nation is sorely missing the jobs and growth provided by a healthy housing market.

Some say the continuing stream of failed mortgages shows that foreclosure prevention programs should be scrapped. That’s wrong. Mortgage loan servicers who implement these programs are to blame for why help is so often too little too late, and without these programs, that problem would only worsen. In fact, slipshod, unfair business practices among loan servicers are so rampant that all 50 state Attorneys General and 11 federal agencies are now investigating.

“When we’re in the midst of an epidemic, we don’t close all the hospitals—we work faster and harder to find a cure,” says CRL president Mike Calhoun. “We call on Congress to strengthen foreclosure prevention efforts by holding servicers accountable and requiring a review of every mortgage loan before foreclosures proceed.”

Elected representatives should not play political roulette with people’s homes, retirement funds, and economic security. CRL urges Congress to defeat these bills and return to the hard work of reviving the housing market, creating jobs and restoring the economy.

For more information: Kathleen Day at (202) 349-1871 or kathleen.day@responsiblelending.org; Ginna Green at (510) 379-5513 or ginna.green@responsiblelending.org; or Charlene Crowell at (919) 313-8523 or charlene.crowell@responsiblelending.org.

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About the Center for Responsible Lending

The Center for Responsible Lending is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research and policy organization dedicated to protecting homeownership and family wealth by working to eliminate abusive financial practices. CRL is affiliated with Self-Help, one of the nation's largest community development financial institutions.