Congressman Albio Sires Newsletter

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DEAR <>,

As always it is a pleasure to update you on my work in Congress. This past week my colleagues and I in the House of Representatives have been working on legislation to bring mortgage relief to at-risk homeowners. On March 5, 2009, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1106, the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act by a vote of 234 to 191.

The economic and housing crises have had devastating consequences for homeowners and communities through out New Jersey and the country. Millions of responsible families who make their monthly payments and fulfill their obligations have seen their property values fall, and are now unable to refinance to lower mortgage rates. All the while, millions of workers have lost their jobs or had their hours cut, and are now struggling to stay up-to-date on their mortgage payments. As a result, it is estimated that as many as 6 million families are expected to face foreclosure over the next several years, with millions more struggling to keep up with their payments. My colleagues and I in the House of Representatives understand that a vital step in restoring our economy is providing mortgage relief to these at-risk homeowners. That is why I am proud to have passed H.R. 1106 to assist in stemming the tide of foreclosures and declining home values across the country.

Specifically, in order to provide more options for at-risk homeowners, this bill would allow bankruptcy judges to modify certain mortgage loans on a homeowner’s principal residence, similar to current modifications that are allowed for vacation homes or family farms. Additionally, to prevent foreclosures, this legislation would protect lenders from lawsuits for modifying loans so that reasonable loan modifications can be available to many at-risk homeowners.

H.R. 1106 would also make permanent an increase from $100,000 to $250,000, in the amount of bank or credit union deposits insured by Federal banks and credit union regulations, and increases these regulators’ authority to obtain additional liquidity from the U.S. Treasury. Furthermore, to get more families into affordable mortgages this bill would fix the Hope for Homeowners program to spur the refinancing of mortgages. H.R. 1106 is currently under review in the Senate.

For additional information on foreclosure prevention in New Jersey please visit http://www.state.nj.us/dca/hmfa/foreclosureprevention_resources.pdf.

Thank you for taking the time to read my enewsletter. I look forward to keeping you updated as Congress continues to work on legislation to assist in the recovery of our housing market and economy.

Sincerely,

Albio Sires

Albio Sires