Today, United States Representative Marion Berry (AR-01) released this statement on the House passage of S. 896 the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009.
"This legislation to assist homeowners is an improvement over previous efforts in the House to address the crisis in the housing market, and I was proud to support its passage.
"This bill did not contain the misguided cramdown' provision included in previous bills, which would have granted a broad new authority for bankruptcy judges to unilaterally modify the terms of mortgages, which would have raised the costs of borrowing for all. Instead, this bill takes positive steps to stabilize the housing market, expand housing opportunities, and assist those at risk of losing their homes. The bill reforms the Hope for Homeowners Program, which helps at-risk borrowers refinance their mortgages, and it urges lenders to work with borrowers to develop reasonable repayment terms instead of resorting to foreclosure. The bill also provides an increase in the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation's guarantee of bank accounts, up to $250,000, which will further protect depositors, particularly small businesses.
"Stabilizing the housing market is essential to restoring the American economy. This bill is a better alternative to helping individuals at risk of foreclosure."