There is still time to push “Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009” or H.R. 1106. The vote will finally be held in the House later today.
Rep. Brad Miller of North Carolina has worked for years to protect consumers from predatory lenders and now he’s battling the banking industry to clean up the mess these same lenders have made. He has introduced legislation that will prevent the foreclosure of millions of homes. The legislation, H.R. 1106 – or Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009, was on the House floor for a vote last week, but last minute wavering of Blue Dog Democrats required that the vote be postponed.
Republicans and some Democrats are buying into the hype created by the banking industry. Most of the talking points are flat out lies and much of what is being regurgitated by those members standing in opposition shows they have a profound lack of understanding of the legislation.
Follow below the fold for a rundown and an action plan.
Republicans and other opponents of the bill want to blame the mortgage crisis on borrowers saying they were dishonest and irresponsible. Rep. Virginia Foxx from North Carolina put it into words on the House floor on Thursday.
It’s some consolation that North Carolina can boast a few very progressive representatives to help balance a woman who so easily spews talking points laced with hate-based code words. Later in the day, North Carolina’s Brad Miller, NC-13, closed the debate.
Contrary to what Republicans claim, this is not welfare. This is not a bailout. This is not permanent. Dishonest Borrowers can’t get their mortgages modified. This will not increase the cost of capital. This will not make it harder to get mortgages in the future for those who are paying their mortages on time now.
Every other asset – yachts, business properties, jets, vacation homes, investment properties – are eligible to have their principal loan amounts modified in bankruptcy. For some reason, Republicans wish for us to think that it is only offering this option for a limited time to a limited number of borrowers that will increase the cost of capital. It simply isn’t true.
Please call and email your representatives in Washington. I’ve made it easy for you. I’m posting scripts to get your started and contact information for the representatives you sent to Washington. No excuses. Get to work!
Here is a simple script for a call:
Hi. My name is _____. I live in the first/second/third, etc. district. I’m calling to encourage Rep. _____ to support H.R. 1106, the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009. We are not going to stop the downward spiral of our economy until we stop the collapse of home values. And we are not going to stop the collapse of home values until we get control of foreclosures. This important legislation will provide mortgage lenders with more motivation to voluntarily work with customers to save their homes. Again, I urge Rep. __________ to support H.R. 1106.
Here is a simple script for an email:
Dear Representative _______________
I urge you to vote for H.R. 1106, the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009. It is important legislation that will help stop the collapse of home values and the downward spiral of our economy by giving us more control over home foreclosures.
Most of these homeowners were not irresponsible or dishonest when they bought their homes and those that were will not be able to modify their mortgages through this legislation.
We’ve bailed out the financial services industry. It’s time we did something to help average citizens stay in their homes.
Thank you for supporting H.R. 1106.
If you aren’t sure which district you live in, you can go here. Otherwise, use the list below.
CA32 Vacant 202-225-5464 N/A N/A
For more information on this legislation:
Rep. Brad Miller’s live-blog at BlueNC.
Rep. Brad Miller’s Q&A in Greensboro’s News & Record
Article in Charlotte Observer
CNN Money article
Editorial for Greensboro News & Record
Representative Miller’s testimony before Judiciary Committee (PDF)