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Issue Position: Relief for Homeowners

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Homeowners were hit incredibly hard by the economic recession. Today in Michigan, roughly 500,000 homeowners are "underwater" on their mortgages, meaning they owe more to their lender than their home is worth. - Foreclosures affect us all. The foreclosed home down the street brings down our own home's value. When homeowners find themselves underwater, studies show they are much more likely to strategically default -- in other words, walk away, leading to another foreclosure and vacancy in the neighborhood. - I believe that to truly reset the housing market and free up billions of dollars for citizens we must adjust current underwater mortgages to the home's fair market value. In the Michigan Senate, I have introduced Senate Bill 860 to do this. The average family in Michigan would save roughly $344 per month, instantly providing a boost to our economy and avoiding another vacant home in one of our neighborhoods. This plan is not a tax giveaway, nor a government program. - Nationally, I applaud the recent mortgage fraud decision that was negotiated between the federal government and the largest banks, but sadly this is not enough. I will propose a real rewriting of underwater mortgages to give relief to the struggling family that in many cases is just one missed paycheck away from a default notice on their home.


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