Washington, DC – May 20, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — Late this afternoon, Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) participated in a White House ceremony with President Obama that enacted S. 896, The Helping Families Save Their Homes Act. The new law is aimed at helping homeowners and renters in the grips of the foreclosure crisis.
“Far too many Memphians have been caught up in the foreclosure tidal wave,” Congressman Cohen said. “Many of these families are stretching already thin paychecks to the breaking point to pay for everything including their rent and mortgage. This new law offers the kind of fair and practical solutions that will help these homeowners and renters.”
The Congressman added, “I was proud to vote for this bill and I commend the President for taking such swift action to enact it into law. But there is still more than can be done to help homeowners that are facing bankruptcy, and I will never stop fighting for them.”
As Chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law – the panel responsible for the nation’s bankruptcy laws – Congressman Cohen championed a plan that would have provided homeowners going through bankruptcy even greater relief. His proposal would have allowed bankruptcy judges the ability to modify existing mortgages for families who file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy as an incentive to spur lenders into voluntarily modifying loans. The House included the Cohen measure in their version of the bill, but the Senate removed it from the final bill.
A record 5.4 million homeowners were either behind on payments or in foreclosure at the end of last year, according to an industry survey. This new law puts into place a number of key provisions of President Obama’s comprehensive Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan.