HARRISBURG, PA – June 29, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) – Governor Edward G. Rendell today signed a pair of bills to combat mortgage fraud by strengthening communication between homeowners and their lenders and encouraging employees at mortgage companies to report illegal activity.
“These bills will provide increased protection for Pennsylvania consumers shopping for a mortgage or refinancing their homes,” said Governor Rendell. “They represent a critical step forward in our strategy to combat mortgage lending fraud and abuse in Pennsylvania.” The first law, Senate Bill 170 (Sen. Mike Brubaker), will prohibit a mortgage broker or originator from being the sole recipient of communications from lenders. This will help ensure that consumers receive monthly statements and other notices intended for them by their lenders.
The second measure, House Bill 985 (Rep. David Kessler), will shield mortgage company employees who report illegal activity or take part in an investigation from retaliation through reduced salaries, termination or other actions taken by their employer.
“I commend Representative Kessler and Senator Brubaker for introducing and pressing for quick enactment of these important bills,” said Governor Rendell. “With their help, we have accomplished a lot in the past few years to require much greater oversight and protections for Pennsylvania’s homeowners.
“Securing a home mortgage is the largest, most significant financial responsibility most people will ever take on. With the enactment of these bills, we continue our efforts to help more Pennsylvanians secure their part of the American dream,” he added. Both bills take effect in 60 days.
Also, Governor Rendell privately signed four other bills:
• House Bill 370 (Rep. Hickernell), which designates the reconstructed bridge spanning Shawnee Run on State Route 462 in the Borough of Columbia, Lancaster County, as the Herbert “Cubby” Spiese Bridge.
• House Bill 718 (Rep. Melio), which extends until June 30, 2014 a one-dollar monthly surcharge on cellular telephones to support 911 services.
• House Bill 988 (Rep. Longietti), which names the bridge carrying Walnut Street over the Shenango River in the Borough of Sharpsville, Mercer County, as the Sgt. David W. Wallace III “Walleye” Memorial Bridge.
• House Bill 1342 (Rep. Stevenson), which allows for an additional year of sales of non-fire safe cigarettes that are in current inventory.
The Rendell administration is committed to creating a first-rate public education system, protecting our most vulnerable citizens and continuing economic investment to support our communities and businesses. To find out more about Governor Rendell’s initiatives and to sign up for his newsletter, visit his Web site at: www.governor.state.pa.us.
Mia DeVane 717-783-1116
Ed Novak (Banking) 717-783-4721