Category Archives: Housing

Banking Committee Sets Hearing on Foreclosures

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd speaks at the Reuters Washington Summit September 20, 2010.

The Senate Banking Committee “will hold hearings after next month’s elections to look into allegations that the nation’s largest lenders have improperly foreclosed on struggling borrowers,” Reuters reports.

"American families should not have to worry about losing their homes to sloppy bureaucratic mismanagement or fraud," outgoing panel Chairman Christopher Dodd said in his announcement of the November 16 hearings.

"I am deeply troubled by recent revelations and allegations of practices by some of the nation’s largest lenders," the retiring Connecticut senator said.

Political pressure is mounting on U.S. banks to halt foreclosures amid reports that some have cut corners to speed the foreclosure process.

Bank of America Corp “said earlier on Friday it is halting foreclosures and sales of foreclosed properties in all 50 U.S. states pending a review of its internal processes.”

(credit image – daylife/reuters)

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Reid Asks Mortgage Companies to Suspend Foreclosures in Nevada

US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, delivers remarks at the Second Annual 'Opportunities For All: Pathways of Poverty Summit on the Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on September 15, 2010.

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), who is “facing a tough reelection battle in Nevada, has called on the state’s mortgage companies to suspend their foreclosure activities,” POLITICO reports.

In a Thursday letter to the state’s largest mortgage lending institutions, Reid called into question the fairness of foreclosure proceedings on homeowners in Nevada, which has the highest foreclosure rate of any state in the country.

"I write to request that your mortgage-servicing division suspend foreclosures on Nevada homeowners until systems are in place to ensure Nevadans are not being improperly directed into foreclosure proceedings," Reid wrote. "I also renew my request that your firm meaningfully participate in the Nevada Housing Division’s Hardest Hit Fund (HHF) program by matching in kind any mortgage-principal reductions provided by our state agency."

(credit image – daylife/getty)

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President Won’t Sign Notarization Legislation

WASHINGTON - JULY 20:  Chairman of U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Patrick Leahy (D-VT) speaks to the media after the Senate Judiciary Committee voted on the Kagan confirmation during a markup hearing July 20, 2010 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The committee has voted 13-6, in favor of President Obama�s nomination of Elena Kagan to become an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, to replace Justice John Paul Stevens who has retired on June 29, 2010.

The White House says “President Barack Obama will not sign a bill that would allow foreclosure and other documents to be accepted among multiple states,” the AP reports.

Consumer advocates and state officials had argued the legislation would make it difficult for homeowners to challenge foreclosure documents prepared in other states.

The White House is sending the bill back to Congress for revisions.

Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters Thursday that officials around the country had expressed concerns about "unintended consequences" from the legislation. He said the administration would work with Congress to fix it.

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chairman of the “Judiciary Committee, moved the legislation through the Senate without debate on Sept. 27,” according to the Huffington Post.

"Senator Leahy understands the President’s decision not to sign the Interstate Recognition of Notarizations Act, and he supports that decision," said a Leahy spokeswoman in a statement. "When Congress passed the legislation, no concerns or objections had been expressed. Now that concerns have been raised, Congress should reexamine whether this bill might have an unintended impact on foreclosures in the future. We certainly do not believe that is what Representative Aderholt and the other cosponsors of the legislation intended."

(credit image – daylife/getty)

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Grassley Seeks Answers on Federal Housing for Sex Offenders

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Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the “ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, is pressing the Department of Housing and Urban Development for information on registered sex offenders living in federally subsidized housing and the steps HUD is taking to remove them,” POLITICO reports.

In an Aug. 10 letter to HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, Grassley cited a 2009 study by HUD’s inspector general that estimated 2,000 to 3,000 sex offenders may be living in Section 8 housing. But the inspector general’s office said it could not turn over any information on those sex offenders to Grassley’s staff, citing an agreement with the FBI not to release the information.

The inspector general based its findings on a sample of HUD Section 8 recipients that was checked against the FBI’s sex offenders registry.

After the report, HUD issued instructions to public housing authorities that under a 1998 federal law, sex offenders cannot reside in Section 8 housing, either directly or as part of a larger household.

Grassley wants Donovan “to turn over any information HUD has on what public housing authorities are doing to implement the new regulations and whether any sex offenders have lived in Section 8 housing in the last three years.”

(credit image – daylife/getty)

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Committee Approves FY 2011 Energy/Water, Commerce/Justice and Transportation/HUD Appropriations Bills

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Today, the Senate Appropriations Committee “reported out three FY 2011 Appropriations bills: Energy and Water Development, Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies, and Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies,” according to a press release.

The vote on each bill was 17-12.

Summaries:

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