Congressman Jerry McNerney (D-Stockton) introduced the Housing Opportunity and Mortgage Equity (HOME) Act of 2013 to help underwater homeowners avoid foreclosure. The HOME Act will help lower homeowners' monthly mortgage payments, providing them with a path to stay in their homes.
"Continuing to strengthen the housing sector is a vital part of economic security. We need to help people stay in their homes and build financial security. With the housing crisis still affecting our region, it is vital that we continue to provide relief, thus benefitting our entire community," said Congressman McNerney.
The HOME Act will provide millions of Americans with lower monthly mortgage payments, providing much-needed financial relief. It will allow homeowners with mortgages secured by the Government Sponsored Enterprises, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to refinance at the current low interest rates. This option was originally established by the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP); however, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), as of December of 2012, only 2.1 million loans had been refinanced out of the original goal of 5 million.
The HOME Act will create a one-year refinancing program and grant the FHFA the option to extend the program beyond that deadline. Currently, there are nearly 30 million mortgages guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
"We need to continue to take a multi-faceted, commonsense approach to deal with the ongoing housing crisis. We will never get our economy back to a competitive, robust state without addressing this challenge. This is too critical an issue to go unaddressed," said Congressman McNerney.
The HOME Act is supported by the California Association of Realtors and ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions.
Reps. Doris Matsui, Mike Honda and Jim Costa are original cosponsors of the bill.
"We applaud Representative McNerney for introducing the HOME Act to make it easier for responsible homeowners to refinance their mortgages at today's low interest rates and avoid foreclosure. We support this important piece of legislation and hope it moves swiftly through Congress." -- Don Faught, President, California Association of Realtors
"Congressman McNerney's bill is an important step toward improving the stability of the housing market and providing struggling homeowners with affordable alternatives for preserving home ownership. Sustainable home ownership has a positive effect on a local and national level, which helps improve the overall health of our economy." - Martha Lucey, Senior Vice President and Chief Education Officer, ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions
"The Central Valley is ground zero for foreclosures and too many families are still struggling. The HOME Act will open the door for more families to receive needed assistance to save their homes. Thank you, Congressman McNerney, for being a champion of homeowners." -- Cynthia Summers, Housing Chair, California State Conference, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People