“President Bush outlined a limited agreement with lenders to ensure that some families don’t face higher mortgage payments they can’t afford. It is a start. But we need to do more.”
» Commentary in the Wall Street Journal, Dec. 8, 2007
Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., says the real victims of the subprime mortgage crisis are the borrowers who followed the rules and whose only crime was taking out mortgages that lenders told them they could afford. He says that part of his plan would help families who can’t refinance now because no one will lend to them and they can’t sell because the housing market has fallen. Here are some of his proposals.
Combat mortgage fraud and subprime loans
- Obama has introduced the STOP FRAUD Act to provide a federal definition of mortgage fraud, increase funding for federal and state law enforcement programs, create new penalties for mortgage professionals found guilty of fraud and require insiders to report suspicious activity.
Mandate accurate loan disclosure
- Ensure that prospective home buyers have access to accurate and complete information about their mortgage options.
- Create a Homeowner Obligation Made Explicit score, which would allow individuals to easily compare various mortgage products, and understand the full cost of the loan and their long-term obligations.
Create a fund to help homeowners avoid foreclosure
- Establish polices to help Americans facing foreclosure through no fault of their own. The fund would help people finance their mortgage and provide comprehensive support to responsible homeowners.
Close bankruptcy loophole for mortgage companies
- Eliminate the federal bankruptcy law’s Chapter 13 provision that prevents bankruptcy courts from modifying an individual’s mortgage payments.
No voting record on subprime issues is available.