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Out-of-Work Homeowners Score a Major Victory With Rep. Fattah’s Plan in Financial Reform Bill


Washington, DC – July 15, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — The Emergency Homeowners’ Relief Fund is a significant provision of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the financial services reform legislation approved by the United States Senate, and is on its way to the White House for President Obama’s signature.

“Millions of American homeowners, through no fault of their own, have lost their jobs in the current economic downturn and have faced the loss of their piece of the American dream,” said Rep. Fattah. “The Homeowners’ Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (HEMAP) – which the Emergency Homeowners’ Relief Fund is patterned after – is a proven success in Pennsylvania and it will work nationally. It will keep families in their homes, providing emergency relief from foreclosure for those with a proven history of working and paying their mortgage.”

The relief fund will be administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The legislation calls for the program to be fully implemented by October 1, 2010.

“Passage of this far-reaching financial reform legislation is a big plus for President Obama, who has vowed to develop comprehensive reform of our broken financial services industry,” Fattah said. “And financial reform isn’t just about saving banks and markets from failure. It has a message for distressed and unemployed homeowners: we won’t allow you to fail either.”

Fattah, who is Chairman of the Congressional Urban Caucus and Pennsylvania’s senior appropriator on the House Appropriations Committee, developed the foreclosure avoidance concept and guided it to passage as a young state legislator in 1983. He said Pennsylvania’s program, administered by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, “can serve as a model for rapid rollout of the program nationwide.”

Pennsylvania’s HEMAP has provided 41,500 homeowners with over $433 million in emergency mortgage assistance since 1984, and about 19,700 have repaid their loans in full. Nearly 90 percent of Pennsylvania homeowners receiving this assistance have avoided foreclosure.
John Dodds, Director of the Philadelphia Unemployment Project and a strong advocate for foreclosure relief locally and nationally, praised Fattah for championing a national homeowner’s relief program.

“Congressman Fattah’s leadership has been vital in raising awareness and providing funding for emergency mortgage relief on a national scale,” said Dodds, whose nonprofit PUP has helped make Philadelphia an innovative leader in foreclosure-relief. “The new driving force in foreclosures is unemployment, not subprime mortgages. The Fattah mortgage relief program gives long-overdue recognition to that fact.”


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