FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 16, 2012
Jared Mason-Gere (503) 986-1907
House Democrats Applaud Senate Action on Foreclosure
Immediate Action Needed to Address Housing Crisis and
Protect Middle Class Homeowners
SALEM- House Democratic leaders today applauded passage in the Oregon Senate of two bills to address the foreclosure crisis. The Senate approved two measures on overwhelming bipartisan votes, sending them to the House where Democrats hope to take immediate action. Efforts on the part of Democrats to pass a package of foreclosure legislation stalled in the House when House Republican leadership refused to even hold hearings on the bills.
“Now we get another shot at doing the right thing for Oregon homeowners,” said Rep. Brad Witt (D-Clatskanie). “Time is running short, so I hope we capitalize on this opportunity. We’re here to represent Oregonians, not Wall Street banks.”
Recent reports showed an additional 840 homes were taken by banks in Oregon in the month of January alone, and one in four homeowners are currently underwater on their mortgages. The bills from the Senate, SB 1552 and SB 1564 help prevent foreclosure by ensuring banks can’t be in negotiations at one time while simultaneously pursuing foreclosure, as well as requiring in-person meetings to help reach agreement on mortgage payment terms. Many Republicans in the Senate joined Democrats to sponsor and vote for the bills, and highlighted the statewide, bipartisan need to take action.
“The housing crisis is stifling our economic recovery and wreaking havoc on the lives of Oregon’s middle class families across the state ,” said Rep. Carolyn Tomei (D-Milwaukee). “There are only two weeks left in this legislative session, so we don’t have time to lose. When we go home to our districts, I hope every member of the House can report that they delivered for the hard working families who sent us here.”