The collapse of the mortgage market put millions of families in danger of losing their homes, with many not able to keep them. Rep. Eshoo is committed to helping hardworking, responsible families keep their homes. She has worked on a daily basis to secure greater relief for borrowers and accountability from banks. Rep. Eshoo believes that a broader economic recovery will not be a reality until the housing market recovers
Stopping Unfair, Unsafe, and Unsound Home Foreclosures
In January, 2013, federal regulators reached a settlement with thirteen of America’s largest mortgage servicers regarding wrongful and illegal foreclosure practices that occurred in 2009 and 2010. As a part of this settlement, the servicers are required to provide more than $9 billion in payments to borrowers whose homes faced foreclosure in those years, including $3.6 billion in direct cash payments and $5.7 billion in foreclosure prevention assistance, such as loan modifications. To find out more information about this settlement, including information to help determine whether or not you’re eligible for assistance, click here.
In the 113th Congress, Rep. Eshoo cosponsors H.R. 1706, the Mortgage Settlement Monitoring Act, which will bring accountability to this settlement by creating an Independent Monitor responsible for reviewing its implementation and reporting back to Congress.
Community Development Block Grant Funding
Rep. Eshoo supports programs, such as the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), that strengthen our nation’s communities, increase the availability of affordable housing, and assist those who are struggling to stay in their homes. CDBG grants are critical to more than one thousand communities across the nation, yet some in Congress have proposed to slash CDBG funding by nearly 50 percent. In June, 2013, Rep. Eshoo led 101 of her House colleagues in writing a letter to House Leadership that expressed strong opposition to CDBG cuts.
On February 9, 2012, the Obama Administration and 49 state Attorneys General announced a $25 billion settlement for mortgage servicing abuses perpetrated by the five largest servicers: Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, and Ally. The agreement will provide some $18 billion for California, including at least $12 billion in principal reduction for “underwater” borrowers.
The agreement will implement new borrower safeguards taken from the “Homeowner’s Bill of Rights” proposed by Rep. Eshoo and the California Democratic Delegation in October 2011. This includes an end to “dual tracking,” a practice in which borrowers are foreclosed upon even as they negotiate the terms of a modification. It will also guarantee a single point of contact for borrowers seeking information about their loans.
Click here to learn more about the relief available for California homeowners and for resources to determine if you qualify for assistance.
Click here to learn more about the nationwide settlement.
On January 10, 2012, following months of unheeded requests for action on principal reduction and other relief from the Federal Housing Finance Administration’s Acting Director, Edward DeMarco, Rep. Eshoo led her California Democratic colleagues in calling on President Obama to replace DeMarco with a permanent Director who would intervene on behalf of struggling homeowners.
On February 27, 2012, Rep. Eshoo led members of the California Democratic Delegation in once again calling on FHFA Acting Director DeMarco to consider principal reduction for Fannie and Freddie mortgages. In their letter, Members cite the overwhelming evidence that principal reductions will best protect taxpayers in the long-run, while allowing families to remain in their homes and avoid foreclosure.
President Obama has since nominated Congressman Mel Watt of North Carolina, to replace DeMarco at the FHFA.