Fattah Secures Mortgage Relief for Unemployed in Financial Reform Legislation

Jun 25, 2010, 13:46 ET from Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah

WASHINGTON, June 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA) is thanking his colleagues for their diligence in working to ensure the nation's unemployed are able to remain in their homes. A provision in the Financial Reform legislation, expected to be signed by the President within the week, offers a remedy to the millions of homeowners who are facing foreclosure. 

The plan, which provides $1 billion to unemployed homeowners, is patterned after a highly successful program introduced by Congressman Fattah when he was a Pennsylvania state legislator.  Pennsylvania's Homeowner's Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (HEMAP) has a proven track record, and has provided $236 million to tens of thousands of unemployed workers to stave off the foreclosure process.

Under the program, qualified homeowners will be able to borrow up to $50,000 to assist them with their mortgage payments, provided that they have a reasonable prospect of resuming mortgage payments within 24 months.

Fattah introduced the Homeowners' Emergency Mortgage Assistance Act (HEMA) in the House knowing that as the unemployment rate continues to rise, millions of families nationwide would be in jeopardy of losing their homes. "Americans need help, 8 percent of all mortgage holders are currently at risk of losing their homes and that is unacceptable," Fattah said.  "I'm encouraged that my colleagues supported the mortgage relief provision in conference to ensure that families won't be faced with the double blow of being unemployed and homeless.

"I want to thank my colleagues on the House Financial Services Committee, Chairman Barney Frank, Congresswoman Maxine Waters and Congressman Paul Kanjorski," said Fattah.  "And of course my colleagues in the Senate, Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee Chairman Chris Dodd, and Senator Bob Casey for their strong support of mortgage foreclosure avoidance."

Tom Cochran, CEO and Executive Director of the U.S. Conference of Mayor's praised Fattah for his leadership on foreclosure avoidance and said, "The additional funds will certainly be welcomed by the nation's mayors who work daily to prevent mortgage foreclosures that are still ravaging too many families and neighborhoods in our nation."

Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter agreed. "I want to congratulate my friend Congressman Fattah for his efforts to secure additional funding for mortgage foreclosure support in the financial reform legislation making its way through Congress," Nutter said.  "This funding will help so many Philadelphians and homeowners across the country who risk losing their homes after falling on hard times through no fault of their own.  Philadelphia is a national leader on this issue and Congressman Fattah has been a great supporter."

The measure now moves to the President's desk for his signature by the July 4th recess.

SOURCE Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah