House Panel Considers Housing Relief
WASHINGTON -- A House panel discussed and at press time was scheduled to vote on a bill to create an insurance fund that guarantees up to $300 billion in refinanced mortgages.
House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) is sponsoring H.R. 5830 as a way to help persons facing home foreclosure. Under the measure, which Frank's office has estimated would cost between $3 billion and $6 billion, borrowers with loans worth more than the value of their home would be able receive a newer, more affordable government-backed loan.
Republicans contend that Frank's measure is too expensive and burdensome and are backing a bill that includes stronger registration and licensing requirements for lenders but no federal insurance fund for refinanced mortgages.
CUNA and NAFCU have expressed support for Frank's measure, which could come up to the floor as early as this week, according to lobbyists for those organizations.
Last week, Frank's panel approved a bill sponsored by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) that made $15 billion in loans and grants available to states and cities to deal with problems caused by the foreclosure crisis. Some of the funds could be used by governments to purchase foreclosed properties.
Republicans on the panel say the measure is too costly and would reward lenders, investors and speculators and possibly make foreclosure a more attractive option for lenders.
CUNA and NAFCU praised certain parts of the bill, H.R. 5818, but had not taken a position on the full measure as of press time.