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Support Letter for Mortgage Modification Legislation

March 9, 2009

Dear Senator,

The Senate is expected to vote this week on S. 61, Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009, a bill intended to help stabilize the housing and financial markets. The House of Representatives recently passed a similar bill last week. Consumers Union, the non-profit publisher of Consumer Reports, strongly supports S. 61 and respectfully urges you to vote yes for its passage.

Judicial modification of home mortgages during bankruptcy is an important component of the Obama Administration’s Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan. This comprehensive plan, designed to help those facing foreclosure remain in their homes, will be the backbone to our economic recovery. S. 61 is consistent with the goal of offering assistance to homeowners making a good-faith effort to stay current on their mortgage payments. Judicial modification is a last resort, no-cost option to foreclosure that may keep as many as 1.8 million people in their homes, according to Credit Suisse. Granting bankruptcy judges this authority gives home mortgages on primary residences the same treatment as vacations homes, yachts or investment properties owned by wealthier borrowers. Why should those facing financial crises, whose homes are their most valued asset, by denied relief given to others?

S. 61 will help honest, hard working homeowners who may have been lured into predatory loans, suffered economic hardships, or who are overwhelmed by medical expenses, save their homes from foreclosure. Keeping people in their homes has the added benefit of helping to stabilize devastated neighborhoods and will give our economy a much need boost.

Please support S. 61 and oppose efforts to weaken it. Thank you for your consideration.


Pamela Banks
Policy Counsel