Senate housing bill- more grief for homeowners
"Housing bill- homeowners lose round one in U.S. Senate"
Stewart A. Alexander
Socialist Party USA Nominee for Vice President
Candidate for Vice President Peace and Freedom Party
April 14, 2008
Socialists across the nation are rejecting a U.S. Senate housing bill that offers little help to struggling homeowners facing foreclosure, while providing tens of billions for banks, financial institutions and big corporations. The bill (Foreclosure Prevention Act) passed in the Senate this past week by a vote of 84-12 and has been sent to the House. The vote was clearly a major setback for millions of homeowners and a big win for banks and big businesses.
There is a major provision in the housing bill that will likely exacerbate the housing crisis and will cause hundreds of thousands of working families to lose their homes; the measure provides a $7,000 tax credit for people who will buy foreclosed properties and will provide huge tax breaks for big businesses; an estimated $25 billion.
While the housing bill was still in the Senate, there was an amendment to the bill that was quickly voted down by the Democrats and Republicans. That amendment would have offered protection to struggling homeowners, giving federal judges the ability to adjust mortgage terms. More of an insult to homeowners, the bill provides financial assistance to homeowners for foreclosure counseling.
The U.S. housing crisis is a national tragedy and it is impacting neighborhoods across the country. The City of Murrieta, California is a small city with a population just under 100,000. In 2007, one of every nine Murrieta homes entered foreclosure, more than anywhere else in the country, according to data from Realty Trac, a foreclosure tracking service, and the Southern California Association of Governments.
Socialists nationwide stand in total opposition to the Foreclosure Prevention Act because it will not benefit struggling homeowners in jeopardy of losing their homes; this legislation will only provide more welfare funding for wealthy billionaires. It is important for Congress to develop comprehensive legislation that will protect homeowners and working families.
Congress must take immediate measures to protect the financial security of working class families. Congress must implement broad based legislation to deal with the mortgage crisis, sagging wages, inflation and the recession.
First, Congress must freeze all balloon payments for a period of 18 months. Congress must also eliminate all adjustable loans. During the next 24 months, Congress must act, giving federal courts the authority to prevent foreclosures and to alter mortgage terms.
Homeowners that have been in their homes for less than 36 months should be allowed to vacate their home with a small reimbursement fee, from the mortgage lender, to provide funds for relocation if it can be determined, in U.S. Federal Court, that the loan was negotiated under fraudulent conditions.
Congress should also act to restore the credit of millions of individuals that have been the victims of credit fraud. If it can be determined that a home loan was made fraudulently, the buyer's credit should be restored, not to indicate a bank foreclosure.
Congress should also direct the U.S. Justice Department to seize certain banks, mortgage companies and financial institutions that have violated professional standards that may have put homeowners and hard working families at risk.
The Foreclosure Prevention Act is not for working families; it will only benefit Wall Street while creating more potholes on Main Street. An estimated 8,000 families are losing their homes everyday; if the Foreclosure Prevention Act becomes law, it will only increase the rate of foreclosures.
For more information search the web for: Stewart A. Alexander; Mortgage Crisis Jeopardizing Working Class Families http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2007/11/369231.shtml