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Public Statements

Helping Heroes Keep Their Homes Act Of 2009

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. FILNER. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Madam Speaker, I want to thank Congressman Tom Perriello of Virginia for introducing H.R. 3976, the Helping Heroes Keep Their Homes Act of 2010. Mr. Perriello is one of the first-term members we have on our committee. They are incredibly active and committed. Mr. Perriello hit the ground running in his first year and is here today with a bill that will make an immediate difference in the lives of our Nation's military veterans.

I yield to Mr. Perriello to explain the bill.

Mr. PERRIELLO. Madam Speaker, I am proud to stand in support of H.R. 3976, the Helping Heroes Keep Their Homes Act, a bill that I introduced to help ensure that our veterans have the resources they need to confront the myriad of challenges in today's economic environment.

Homeownership is the touchstone of the American dream. H.R. 3976, the Helping Heroes Keep Their Homes Act, will reauthorize home foreclosure protections to prevent lenders from foreclosing on veterans' homes within 9 months after the end of military service. Unfortunately, some of the protections established in Public Law 110-289 are scheduled to expire at the end of this year. This bill will ensure that these critical protections remain available to our veterans.

H.R. 3976 is a commonsense bill that has been supported by the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. I appreciate the bipartisan support on this bill, the chairman's leadership and others', and I urge all members of this body to join me in supporting our military families by voting in favor of this bill.

Mr. STEARNS. Madam Speaker, if I might digress, I just wanted to thank Mrs. Halvorson on H.J. Res. 80 for introducing the resolution, and the chairman and Mr. Buyer for bringing that joint resolution to the floor. I think that is important to remind all of my colleagues.

Madam Speaker, I also rise in support of H.R. 3976, as amended, a bill to extend certain expiring provisions providing enhanced protections for servicemembers relating to mortgages and mortgage foreclosure.

Madam Speaker, Public Law 110-289, the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, extended the protections against foreclosure and related actions on servicemembers' homes contained in the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act from 90 days to 9 months following lengthy deployments. Extensions of these protections will sunset December 31, 2010.

To address the continuing lengthy deployments by our servicemembers, the Veterans Home Preservation Act of 2010 would simply extend the mortgage-related sunset days contained in Public Law 110-289 through December 31, 2015. The bill also adds a new clause that would apply these same mortgage protections to a surviving spouse of a servicemember who dies while in military service and whose death is service connected.

Madam Speaker, these are good provisions that are appropriate given the current economic climate. I thank the authors of the bill, Mr. Perriello, as well as Chairman HERSETH SANDLIN and Ranking Member BOOZMAN for their fine work, and the Veterans' Affairs Committee chairman, Mr. Filner, and Mr. Buyer, the ranking member, for bringing this legislation to the floor.

I reserve the balance of my time.

Mr. FILNER. I have no further speakers, and I am prepared to close.

Mr. STEARNS. Madam Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support H.R. 3976, as amended, a bill to extend certain expiring provisions providing enhanced protections to servicemembers relating to mortgages and mortgage foreclosure.

I yield back the balance of my time.

Mr. FILNER. Madam Speaker, it is unfortunate that these protections are still needed. Two years ago or so we went through this major foreclosure crisis. We unfortunately, have not solved it and expect a recurrence, and we must protect and serve these brave men and women in uniform with the same commitment and dedication with which they protected and served us.

GENERAL LEAVE

Mr. FILNER. Madam Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on H.R. 3976, as amended.

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