What: All Issues : Housing : Preventing Bank Foreclosures on Homes : HR 4213. (Extending expiring programs) Franken of Minnesota amendment that would create a homeowners advocate office inside the Treasury Department to help consumers with housing problems/On agreeing to the amendment
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HR 4213. (Extending expiring programs) Franken of Minnesota amendment that would create a homeowners advocate office inside the Treasury Department to help consumers with housing problems/On agreeing to the amendment
senate Roll Call 189     Jun 15, 2010
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Progressive

This vote was on an amendment by Al Franken, D-Minn., that would create an Office of the Homeowner Advocate within the Treasury Department. This office would assist homeowners with problems they encounter as part of the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), which is intended to help troubled homeowners avoid foreclosure.  The amendment was offered to a bill that would extend several expired tax provisions, unemployment insurance benefits, Medicaid assistance to states, Medicaid doctor payment increases and other items.

Franken said his amendment was spurred by one of his constituents who participated in the program, but received a letter saying she had voluntarily left the program when in fact she had not.  Franken said this was due to an error on her mortgage servicer’s part, and that she wasn’t sure how to fix it.

Franken said his amendment “would ensure that homeowners participating in the HAMP program know that someone is on their side, someone with the authority to actually fix the mistakes created by mortgage servicers participating in HAMP. When homeowners call this office with concerns, the office has two important powers. First, it can make sure servicers actually obey the rules of the program or suffer the consequences. Second, it ensures that the bank would not be able to sell people’s homes right away, giving the homeowner advocate time to actually solve the problem. The office is temporary, lasting only as long as HAMP does. But while it lasts, it ensures that homeowners would not be losing their homes because of simple errors,” Franken said.

No one spoke against his amendment.

By a vote of 63-33, the amendment was adopted.  All but two Democrats present voted for the amendment.  Of Republicans present, eight voted for the amendment and 31 voted against it.  The end result is that the measure went forward with language that would create a new consumer advocate office within the Treasury Department to help people participating in the HAMP program.

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